(FILES) This file photograph taken on April 19, 2011 shows jailed French national Michael Blanc (R) bidding goodbye to his mother Helene Le Touzey (L) at the visitors receiving area of Cipinang prison in Jakarta. AFP PHOTO / FILES / ROMEO GACAD
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A French drug smuggler was freed on parole Monday after more than 14 years in an Indonesian prison, a rare early release of a foreigner that raises hopes for Australian inmate Schapelle Corby.The 40-year-old, who has always maintained his innocence, was originally given a life sentence under Indonesia's tough anti-drugs laws, which provoked outrage in his native France.His sentence was cut to 20 years and he received several remissions. Blanc has always maintained his innocence, insisting that he was given the diving canisters to transport by a friend.He was sentenced to life in prison on November 16, 2000, a sentence criticised in France as overly harsh.
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