July 18, 2005

Australian police to appear in Corby appeal

BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - Fresh witnesses, including an
Australian police officer, will appear at a July 20 appeal
hearing for the Australian beauty therapist convicted of
smuggling drugs to Indonesia's resort island of Bali, a lawyer
said on Monday.

The witnesses will testify in Denpasar District Court in
the appeal of Schapelle Corby, 28, jailed for 20 years for
importing 4.1 kg (9 lb) of marijuana in a case that sparked
public outrage in Australia.

Corby's high-profile Jakarta-based lawyer, Hotman Paris
Hutapea, was optimistic the three witnesses -- an Indonesian
legal expert, a Bali police official and an Australian
policeman -- could help her case.

"I just know that our neighbor is sloppier than us. It is
strongly proven that Corby is just a victim," said Hutapea.
"(Australia) will be embarrassed by the dirty facts of Sydney
International airport."

Corby, from the state of Queensland, has insisted the drugs
found in her bodyboard bag by a Bali customs officer at the
island's international airport were planted there by someone at
an Australian airport.

The prosecution sees the case as open-and-shut drug
trafficking because Corby told Bali customs the bag was hers.

Legal experts say that to overturn the conviction, Corby's
defense will have to provide hard evidence Australian airport
luggage handlers put the cannabis into the bag without her

Hutapea said the defense team would present a news report
on drug smuggling and an essay written by a New South Wales
policeman about Sydney airport.