|Martin Garnett after his arrest in Thailand in 1993|
AFTER spending more than 20 years in some of the world’s most notorious prisons, the drug smuggler who holds the Australian record for the longest overseas incarceration is a free man.
Martin Garnett, 48, was released from Silverwater jail last week and fulfilled a wish decades in the making — heading straight to the beach and staring out over the ocean.
Mr Garnett was arrested in Bangkok in 1993 with 4.7kg of heroin strapped to his body. He was put on death row but his sentence was commuted to 40 years in 1994.
He was left to fight for his life in Thailand’s hellish jail system, surviving death squads known as “samurais” and corrupt prison guards who wanted him dead.
“Freedom is finally here after 22 long years,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“What I’d like to do is send the message that anybody can turn their life around. It does not matter if you are facing a death sentence in Thailand.
“You can change your life. You can work hard on becoming a better person.”
“Sadly, (Bali Nine ringleaders) Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan will not have the opportunity to go on and do some good in the world after turning their lives around,’’ Mr Garnett said.
During his time in prison overseas Mr Garnett converted to Islam with the guidance of a Pakistani Muslim teacher and adopted the name Amin Mubarak.
“I went to the beach this week and stood with nothing between myself and the horizon. I was so happy and humbled by just being there,’’ he said.
Source: The Daily Telegraph, Taylor Auerbach, October 6, 2015
Report an error, an omission: firstname.lastname@example.org