Sat, Aug 26, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Convicted Australian drug smuggler's final appeal begins in Bali

NATIONAL SUPPORT Corby's sentence outraged many Australians, partly due to its severity and also because many believed her claim that she was a patsy

AFP , DENPASAR, INDONESIA

Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby is led by Indonesian police officers as she arrives at Denpasar district court yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

Convicted Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby appeared in an Indonesian court yesterday to file a final appeal to have her conviction and a 20-year sentence overturned.

A tense-looking Corby wore a simple white shirt and black pants with a scarf tied around her head and was jostled by waiting media as she arrived for the judicial review hearing, her final legal avenue of appeal.

An Australian supporter of Corby came to her aid and snapped at photographers to stay away from her as she entered the packed Denspasar district court.

The court was not expected to deliver any verdict yesterday, but will examine evidence submitted by her lawyers and later pass on the request to the Supreme Court.

Corby was found guilty in May last year of trafficking 4.1kg of marijuana into Indonesia's resort island of Bali in a high-profile case that gripped her home nation.

She was originally handed a 20-year-sentence which was later reduced to 15 years by an appeal court. The Supreme Court however in January reinstated her initial term.

Erwin Siregar, one of Corby's lawyers, told the panel of three judges that his client had filed an appeal because of "mistakes that were made at all judicial levels" in her case.

"The ruling was made without adhering to evidence that appeared during hearing sessions," Siregar said, reiterating previous arguments that Corby had no knowledge of the marijuana found in her unlocked surfboard bag.

"The lack of the convict's fingerprints on the plastic cover [of the bag in which the drugs were found] shows the fact that the convict had no knowledge of the existence of the marijuana," he said.

Noting the bag was unlocked and the drugs in a clear plastic bag, he said "it would have been impossible for her to do such a foolish act."

Corby's sentence outraged many Australians, partly due to its severity and partly because many believed her claims that international drug smugglers had put the marijuana in her unlocked surfboard bag without her knowledge.

Corby has maintained her innocence and claimed she knew nothing about the drugs, seized from her bag when she arrived to holiday on the palm-fringed island in October 2004.

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