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Last seen: 17 years, 2 days
Man... I am praying for that poor Aussie chick
My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Shotgun of Sweet Reason
Aussie jailbird flies in for Corby
March 26, 2005
A VICTORIAN prisoner whose evidence may be crucial to Schapelle Corby's defence will be flown under tight security to Bali to testify at the alleged drug smuggler's trial on Tuesday.
Justice Minister Chris Ellison said yesterday the federal Government would transport prisoner John Ford to Bali following a formal request from the Indonesian Government late on Thursday night.
The Australian Government would cover all the costs of transporting Ford.
Senator Ellison also said he would visit Indonesia in two weeks to negotiate an international prisoner transfer program, which would apply to Corby should she be found guilty.
"When these treaties are signed they apply to all those prisoners who are in custody at that time, no matter when they were imprisoned and all future prisoners."
Senator Ellison said Ford, who has been on remand in Melbourne's Port Phillip Prison for 13 months, would travel on a commercial flight in the custody of Victorian and federal police.
"I can confirm that last night we received an official request from the Indonesian Government under the mutual assistance treaty, a request that a Victorian prisoner be transported from Victoria to the Bali court to give evidence," he said in Perth.
"We'll treat it as matter of utmost urgency and even as we speak arrangements are being put in place for this prisoner's travel to Indonesia."
Ms Corby, 27, a Gold Coast beauty therapist, could face the death penalty if found guilty of smuggling 4.1kg of cannabis into Bali's Denpasar airport in her boogie board bag last October. Her legal team says Ford has made a statement explaining how Ms Corby carried the drugs into Indonesia without her knowledge.
Ford is alleged to have claimed that Ms Corby was an unknowing pawn in an operation to smuggle drugs between Brisbane and Sydney airports.
Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls said the Victorian Government would do what it could to assist Ms Corby.
"The federal Government has taken steps to ensure all the appropriate evidence can be presented in this particular trial and the Victorian Government will do what it can to support any moves by the federal Government to enable that evidence to be given in court," Mr Hulls said yesterday. Senator Ellison said he could not disclose why Ford was in custody or exactly when he would travel.
"It is open to use commercial flights in this case," he said. "We use them normally in relation to instances of this kind, and I think we can put in place appropriate security arrangements which will meet the requirements of the Victorian authorities and the Indonesian authorities."
He would not discuss flight details because of security reasons but said that Ford would be escorted by Victorian police with Australian Federal Police officers at either end.
"I would envisage that visit being a short one, and the turnaround to be a short period of time. Obviously once that evidence is given by that person we want him back in custody in Australia as soon as possible."
Prisoner risks life to save Corby
March 27, 2005
A VICTORIAN prisoner is risking his life to save accused drug smuggler Schapelle Corby, his former wife revealed yesterday.
John Patrick Ford is now a target of some of Australia's toughest prisoners after informing on his fellow inmates.
Mr Ford, 40, has claimed he overheard prisoners saying Ms Corby, 27, who was arrested in Bali, was an unwitting victim of a bungled drug smuggling operation between the Brisbane and Sydney airports.
His former wife, Rita, said: "He's putting his life on the line, the lives of his child and his ex-wife on the line, for a girl in Bali he does not know."
Justice Minister Senator Chris Ellison has approved a request from the Indonesian Government for Mr Ford to give evidence at Ms Corby's trial.
It is understood Mr Ford will be escorted by Victoria Police officers on a commercial flight today. He is expected to give evidence on Tuesday.
His ex-wife said he wanted to try to save Ms Corby.
"He is not doing this (giving evidence) to gain any favours," she said. "He's doing the right thing. I have never known him to hurt anyone. But he has been threatened that he'll be killed for revealing the drug gang's methods.
"I don't know Schapelle Corby, but if she were my daughter, I would just want her home. John is trying to get her home and save her from the executioners.
"He is doing the only thing he can, given the man he is."
Mr Ford has spent 13 months in Port Phillip Prison, some of it in protective custody after informing on the drug gang. He is on remand facing 18 charges, including rape, aggravated burglary, threat to kill, unlawful imprisonment and assault.
His lawyer, Paul Vale, said the charges related to a domestic incident and Mr Ford would plead not guilty at a hearing in May. Mr Ford has no prior convictions, Mr Vale said.
His former wife said she was not involved in the incident.
She said Mr Ford had never been in trouble before and had worked for the Commonwealth Government for 18 years.
"He's an honourable man," she said.
Ms Corby's Indonesian lawyer, Vasu Rasiah, claimed Australian Federal Police agents had intimidated Mr Ford in jail.
"They paraded him in front of other prisoners to show he was a 'dog' (an informer)," Mr Rasiah said. "But even then, he stood his ground."
Mr Rasiah said representatives for Ms Corby's defence team spoke to Mr Ford after the incident, which happened during his second interview with police in early March.
"He is terrified and we wrote to the Attorney-General, saying if that anything happened to him, they (Australian authorities) were directly responsible," Mr Rasiah said. "His courage is unquestionable."
If Ms Corby is found guilty of trying to smuggle 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali inside her boogie board bag last October, she could face the death penalty.
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has said the Government would do whatever it could to win clemency for Ms Corby if the death penalty was imposed.
New evidence may backfire
March 27, 2005
The Indonesian judge presiding over the Schapelle Corby case has warned that fresh evidence from an Australian prisoner could backfire on her bid for freedom.
Chief Judge Linton Sirait said he was keeping an open mind before deciding whether the 27-year-old Gold Coast former beauty student was guilty of drug trafficking in Bali.
Victorian prisoner John Ford, who claims to have evidence that would clear Corby of the charges, is expected to be flown to Bali in the next few days.
Judge Sirait told The Sun-Herald that Ford's evidence could "work in her [Corby's] favour or against her".
"If there's any relationship between the testimony and the case, then we will hear it," he said.
The Queenslander is accused of bringing 4.1 kilograms of marijuana into Bali after customs officers found the narcotic stashed in her bodyboard bag on October 8 last year.
Police at the time said it was the biggest haul of marijuana ever taken by authorities on Bali.
Corby, 27, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison or the death sentence under Indonesia's tough anti-drugs laws.
On Thursday, she made a desperate plea to the panel of three judges to let her go home to Australia after her legal team failed to produce Ford.
But at the 11th hour, Indonesia agreed to allow the Australian inmate into the country to testify, the Australian Government announced on Friday.
An official request from Jakarta came to Canberra late on Thursday to hear the evidence that will come from Ford.
The request gave officers the go-ahead to escort Ford to the Balinese capital of Denpasar.
Corby's legal team hopes that Ford's evidence will convince the court that she was a victim of drug trafficking, reportedly based on information from two other prisoners.
"We hope that he tells the court that he knows who owned the marijuana. I hope that John will tell the court that the marijuana belongs to a drug gang," Corby's lawyer, Lily Lubis, told The Sun-Herald.
The quality of Ford's expected evidence remained under a cloud.
A spokesman for Justice Minister Chris Ellison said the Government was not aware of any deals made with the prisoner. "Not between Ford and the Commonwealth and there's no agreement that we are aware of," he said.
But officials close to the case have been sceptical. Australian Federal Police chief Mick Keelty has described it as "hearsay on hearsay" and earlier last week, the Indonesian Government issued a strongly worded statement through its embassy in Canberra.
It said Jakarta would not respond to calls to intervene in the case.
"Trial by the press and insisting on hearsay evidence will only weaken Ms Corby's case," the embassy said.
Another lawyer familiar with criminal justice in Bali cast doubt on the likelihood of the evidence being accepted.
Bali bombing defence lawyer Adnan Wirawan said it appeared as though the testimony would be weak. Under Indonesia's legal system, hearsay evidence was often rejected by courts, he told The Sun-Herald.
"It has to be supported by other strong evidence," Mr Wirawan said.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Mr Ellison said Ford would be in custody for the entire journey and would appear in court on either Tuesday or Thursday.
"We are making arrangements so that he can be available there for Tuesday."
Ford's expected arrival in Bali comes as the panel of three judges was preparing to hear sentencing proposals from the prosecution and a response from Corby's defence team.
A verdict has been expected in mid-May.
Corby prisoner arrives in Bali
March 27, 2005
A VICTORIAN prisoner who will give testimony at the trial of accused drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has arrived in Bali.
John Patrick Ford, a remand prisoner, was escorted by Corrections Victoria staff on the flight, which arrived between 4 and 5pm AEST, a Corrections Victoria spokeswoman said today.
He was being taken to the Denpasar lockup, she said.
Last seen: 12 years, 4 months
I think this may be a typo, but if not WTF. That is a pretty big leap either 20 years max or death.
Lets hope they allow the evidence.
No typo. It depends on which crime she may be convicted of. She could get up to 20 years for importing and possessing an illegal drug. She could get the death sentence for drug trafficking. Lets hope they allow the evidence, for sure.
Corby team fear drug gang hit on star witness
March 28, 2005
An Australian prisoner will tomorrow become accused drug smuggler Schapelle Corby's best chance of escaping a death sentence when he takes the stand in a Bali court.
Corby's legal team will ignore court warnings that the appearance of Victorian remand inmate John Ford could backfire.
They will ask him to testify that Corby was an unwitting courier used by a ring of Australian drug traffickers.
In order to avoid possible reprisals including a gangland hit on their star witness, Corby's lawyers said they would also seek a court order for Ford's evidence to be heard in secret.
Ford was flown into Bali yesterday amid tight security and fears he could risk his life by recounting what Australian police have said is at best "hearsay" evidence Corby is innocent.
He signed a statement for her lawyers and later told Australian Federal Police that he overheard a conversation among other prisoners in jail that the 27-year-old Gold Coast beauty student was the victim of a domestic drug smuggling operation gone wrong.
That suspicion was later confirmed in a second conversation he took part in, he said.
Ford told Corby's lawyers he could not live with himself if he failed to testify in the case.
Corby was arrested last October after Indonesian customs and police found 4.1 kilograms of marijuana in her unlocked boogie board bag as she passed through Denpasar airport.
She has maintained her innocence and said the pillow case-sized stash must have been placed there during the domestic transit leg of her trip between Brisbane and Sydney.
Granting an adjournment last week to give Corby's legal team more time, judges at the Denpasar District Court warned Ford's evidence could backfire on Corby.
But her main financial backer, Gold Coast businessman Ron Bakir said Ford could be Corby's last chance to beat a possible firing squad.
"We've got to take every opportunity and use it and explore every possible door and he's a key witness right now and you know he could be the possible lifeline of Schapelle Corby," he said.
Corby's lawyer Lely Sri Rahaya Lubis today failed to secure a meeting with Ford and would try again tomorrow before the trial.
She would file an application requesting the court be closed to media personnel because of fears for Ford's life, she said.
"The problem is our witness is a prisoner and it's a big risk for him to come here," she said.
"We don't want totally closed doors, but we have to be concerned for his safety."
The trial comes ahead of a visit to Australia on Wednesday by Indonesia's new president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and amid the heavy press coverage in Australia may cloud a trip billed as a fence-building exercise between Australia and Indonesia.
Keen to avoid any legal finger-pointing or blame, both countries have warned against trial by media.
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock rebuked Corby's legal team for using the press to build public support for Corby in Australia, saying evidence should be left to the courtroom.
Australian Federal Police chief Mick Keelty has described Ford's evidence as hearsay on hearsay and said the Indonesian judicial process should be left to run its own course.
Ford is on remand on charges of rape, aggravated burglary, threat to kill, unlawful imprisonment and assault. His lawyer Paul Vale said Ford was pleading not guilty and would contest all the charges in his May trial.
Bakir said Ford told lawyers he could never live with himself if he did not give evidence on Corby's behalf.
"(Ford) said to us very clearly that he knows, by giving this evidence, he might be killed or he might die," Bakir told ABC radio.
"He said that he could never live with himself if he does not come forward. His conscience would not allow it."
Bakir said Ford had taken a big step coming forward when he knew the risk of reprisals.
"He's courageous. I've got to give him that much," he said.
"Not many people in his situation would come forward and testify in relation to a known drug trafficker."
I'll name who put drugs in Corby's bag
March 29, 2005
PRISONER John Patrick Ford last night said he knew who was responsible for putting drugs in Schapelle Corby's luggage.
Ford promised to name those responsible in a Bali court today – a statement which her lawyers say is Corby's best chance of freedom.
"Stay strong, I can understand what you are going through. I will be there for you," he said.
Ford declared he was ready to take the stand and testify today to every allegation he has made.
Corby's legal team and backers visited Ford for about 15 minutes in his sparse police jail cell yesterday at Denpasar police headquarters.
Ron Bakir, who is bankrolling Corby's defence, said Ford was scared about what fate could befall him.
In a statement through Mr Bakir, Ford said: 'I am staking my life on it. I know she is innocent because I know who did it and if anything happens to her, if she gets one day in jail longer, that's a crime."
Ford told the legal team: "Everything I said in that statement is 110 per cent true and no one can tell me to say anything differently because that's the truth."
Mr Bakir said Ford told him he had come to Bali to testify "because it is the right thing to do and my conscience will never be clear".
He said Ford was fearful of the consequences of his actions given that he today intends to name names.
"He is scared. You could see it in his face. He is scared to go back to Australia because he knows what he has done," Mr Bakir said.
The lawyers will today ask for Ford's evidence to be heard in a closed court, fearing that his life will be in grave danger if his evidence is aired publicly in Australia.
But prosecutor IB Wiswantanu told The Daily Telegraph there was "no way" the evidence would be heard behind closed doors, and he would object strongly to any application.
Judge Linton Sirait, chief of the three-judge bench, told The Daily Telegraph last night he would not agree to any applications for the court to be closed.
"If there is a request for the trial to be closed I will reject it. The trial will be open for the public," Judge Sirait said.
Having spent a day and night in a Bali jail cell, Ford told the legal team he had an appreciation of what Corby, 27, of the Gold Coast, had endured for the past five months since her arrest at Bali airport with 4.1kg of marijuana in her boogie board bag.
The maximum penalty for the offence is death.
Vasu Rasiah, a consultant to the legal team, said after meeting Ford: "His courage is unmatched."
The team had waited throughout the day to see Ford after an early morning bid for a meeting was delayed by bureaucracy.
Instead, they held meetings for several hours with the Denpasar intelligence director Antonius Sitanggang.
Finally, at 2.30pm, they were granted access to Ford, who has been kept in a cell at the police jail since his arrival in Bali on Sunday afternoon.
Mr Bakir said Corby was "heartbroken" as her case neared its end and she found herself still imprisoned at Kerobokan jail.
"She is losing hope, completely losing hope. I told her the prisoner is coming and she said, 'I will believe it when I see it,' " Mr Bakir said.
Corby witness arrives in court
March 29, 2005
Lawyers for accused drug smuggler Schapelle Corby today denied any deal had been done with an Australian prisoner who claims to have evidence she is innocent.
Victorian remand inmate John Ford arrived this morning to give testimony to a Bali court that he overheard a conversation among other prisoners in jail that Corby - a former Gold Coast beauty student - was the victim of a domestic drug smuggling operation gone wrong.
Handcuffed, he was accompanied by two Indonesian police officers and was dressed neatly in a white shirt and black trousers.
He said nothing as he was led to a holding cell at the back of the court.
Ford may be 27-year-old Corby's best chance of escaping a possible firing squad for allegedly smuggling 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali's Denpasar airport last October.
An adviser to Corby's legal team, Vasu Rasiah, said Ford would not (not) receive any special treatment during his own trial in Australia next month in return for his testimony in Bali.
Ford is facing charges of rape, aggravated burglary, threat to kill, unlawful imprisonment and assault.
"There is no deal. The only deal he gets is being bashed up when he gets home," Vasu told AAP.
He said Ford faced great danger of reprisal from the drug gang he will claim placed the cannabis in Corby's unlocked boogie board bag.
Corby's sister Mercedes said she was unsure how compelling Ford's evidence would be.
"The only reason he came over is because of political pressure," she said.
"But if he didn't have information that could really help, why would they go to all this trouble to send him over here?" she said.
Mercedes Corby said her sister was under an increasing amount of pressure as the trial progressed, with a verdict expected around mid-May.
"She is starting to lose a bit of weight and is looking drawn. She is a bit more teary."
Corby's lawyers were expected to request Ford's evidence be heard in secret when her trial resumes later this morning to minimise the risk of revenge attack.
Corby arrives at court
March 29, 2005
A TEARFUL Schapelle Corby has arrived at a Bali court for what may be the crucial day in her fight to avoid a possible death sentence for drug smuggling.
"Please help me, please help me," she told a crush of journalists as police helped her push through the surging crowd outside the Denpasar District Court. She was led from a caged police bus, aided by her sister Mercedes Corby, and was placed in the same holding cell as her key defence witness Victorian remand prisoner John Ford.
Ford is today expected to tell the court that he overheard a conversation among other prisoners in jail that Corby - a former Gold Coast beauty student - was the victim of an Australian drug smuggling operation gone wrong.
A small band of supporters carrying placards were at the court to greet an obviously emotional Corby, who was dressed in a white shirt and a black skirt.
Ford is crucial to the 27-year-old's defence against charges that she smuggled 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali's Denpasar airport last October.
Edited by veggie (03/29/05 06:25 AM)
Loc: NearYurFeet ^.;.
Last seen: 6 years, 1 month
The thought of putting somebody to death for ANY ammount of pot is inconceivable to me. Indonesia is fucked up, i'm NOT going there any time soon!
Prisoner testifies at Corby trial
March 29, 2005
Two Victorian prison inmates had laughed when they told how accused drug trafficker Schapelle Corby had been an unwitting courier or "mule" used by a jailed drug kingpin, a Bali Court heard today.
Victorian remand prisoner John Patrick Ford told the Denpasar District Court how he overheard a jail cell conversation between two fellow jail inmates - named Terry and Paul - over how a shipment of marijuana had gone missing between Brisbane and Sydney.
The conversation - in which he said today he "sort of took part" - took place in mid-November last year after Corby's arrest.
The stash had belonged to another small-time drug lord and former convict named Ronny Verganza, Ford said the pair told him.
"They found it very funny that Ronny's drugs had gone missing," he told the three court judges in front of a packed gallery as Corby listened intently beside defence lawyers.
"They were very specific about the amount of drugs and they were very specific about how they were taken.
"They were quite clear about it was expected to go from Brisbane to Sydney."
Ford's testimony to a packed court may be Corby's best hope of escaping a possible firing squad for allegedly smuggling 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali's Denpasar airport last October.
The 27-year-old one-time beauty student has maintained her innocence and claims she was the unintended victim of an Australian drug smuggling gang.
Ford, a former child support agency employee before his marriage breakup and subsequent arrest, told how he met Ronny several times since his detention on changes including aggravated burglary, threat to kill, unlawful imprisonment and assault.
Dressed neatly in a shirt and tie and black slacks, he said Ronny had a "significant financial investment" in the drug stash which mistakenly ended up in Corby's bodyboard bag.
But he declined to name the airline baggage worker he believed had planted the drugs in the unlocked bag as he was "100 per cent certain" he or Corby could be killed in reprisal.
"If I mentioned his name he would kill me and he would probably kill Schapelle Corby," he said.
"Schapelle Corby is a victim of domestic drug trafficking by what I regard as petty criminal and cowards."
Pressed by judges how he could be so sure of the plot details given he had heard it second hand, Ford, 40, denied he had volunteered the information to get out of jail and "have a holiday" in Bali.
"In fact, I take great personal risk at this time of my identity being known and my face being recognised," he said.
"This is no fun. This puts me at so much risk I can't describe it."
Ford was flown to Bali by Australian prison authorities at the request of Indonesia's government after he signed a sworn statement about the conversation he had at first dismissed as ordinary prison bragging.
He said he changed his mind after hearing details of Corby's case on television.
Chief prosecution lawyer Wiswantanu said Ford's testimony had "no legal value", because it was based on hearsay.
A tearful Corby had to be escorted through the media crush as she arrived for the final day of her defence.
"Help me, please help she," she cried as her sister Mercedes and police helped drag her to a holding cell with Ford, where the pair were kept separated by court authorities.
* note: The court was adjourned until April 7 when prosecutors will submit their request for a sentence.
Edited by veggie (03/29/05 11:12 AM)
Melbourne man denies Corby drugs link
March 30, 2005
Melbourne man Ronnie Verganza has been left shattered after a Bali court was told he was linked to a drug stash allegedly planted on Schapelle Corby.
Mr Verganza, 38, whom prisoner John Patrick Ford claimed owned the 4.1 kg of marijuana found in Corby's bodyboard bag, said he had nothing to do with any drug ring, Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper reported.
He said he was just trying to get his life back together after getting out of jail six weeks ago, the newspaper said.
When interviewed on Tuesday night, Mr Verganza's wallet contained $4.55 in change, a Medicare card, a pension card and a video store card.
"Have a look around - do I look like a drug lord?" the Herald Sun quoted him as asking.
"I don't know what I could have done to this fella (Mr Ford). He's named me as the man who financed the whole deal, and I don't even have a bank account."
Mr Verganza said he was in jail when Corby, a Queensland beauty school student, was arrested at Denpasar airport in Bali.
He said he had no involvement with Corby or anyone associated with her.
The newspaper reported that Mr Verganza recognised Mr Ford from Port Phillip Prison where he used to serve the food, but said he had never spoken to him.
Corby faces a possible death sentence if found guilty by an Indonesian court of smuggling drugs into the country. Pleading innocent, she says someone planted the drugs in her unlocked bodyboard bag.
"Keep believing in me"
March 31, 2005
SCHAPELLE Corby sent a heartfelt message to her fellow Australians from her Bali prison cell yesterday.
"I want the Australian public to keep believing in me because I have done nothing wrong and I want to thank the Australian public for their support because, without their support, I would be dead already," she said.
Following her most traumatic day yet in court, the 27-year-old was visited in jail yesterday by family, friends and her legal team, who are concerned for her emotional wellbeing as the case draws to a close.
Still emotional, Corby asked Gold Coast mobile phone entrepreneur Ron Bakir, who is now bankrolling her defence, to deliver the message to Australians for her.
Mr Bakir said he feared Corby was losing hope but she was buoyed by the belief Australians were behind her in her bid to be declared innocent of drug smuggling charges, which carry the death penalty.
"She says she can't handle it in here [jail] any more," Mr Bakir said after his visit.
And in what could be seen as a boost for Corby and her legal team, the Chief Judge in charge of her case revealed yesterday that some parts of prisoner John Patrick Ford's testimony would be used in considering their decision.
Judge Linton Sirait told The Daily Telegraph he could not comment publicly on the judges' current thinking about Corby's guilt or innocence but the prisoner's evidence would form part of their decision.
Ford, 40, a remand prisoner at Melbourne's Port Phillip prison, said he had heard two fellow prisoners talking about the drugs having been mistakenly planted in Corby's luggage by a drug ring.
"From his testimony there are some parts of his evidence that will be used in the judges' consideration of their decision," Judge Sirait said.
But he was not prepared to comment on exactly which parts of the evidence the judges would use in determining their verdict.
The comments are a welcome boost for Corby and the team, who had pinned their hopes on Ford's testimony being their last-ditch effort to show the court there was an another explanation for the 4.1kg of marijuana found in her boogie-board bag when she arrived at Bali airport last October.
Judge Sirait's comments were echoed by Judge Wayan Suasatrawan who said: "I cannot tell you whether we think he was credible or not but of course we will consider what he talked about."
Under law, the judges could decide that because Ford was testifying about events outside of Indonesia and outside of the jurisdiction in which the case is heard, his evidence was inadmissible or irrelevant to Corby's trial and thus discard it.
Corby's mother Rosleigh said yesterday after visiting her daughter that Schapelle and the entire family were grateful Ford had come to Bali despite the risks.
Schapelle Corby awaits sentence
March 30, 2005
Her defence team has rested its case, and now Schapelle Corby waits in a Bali prison to hear what her sentence might be if she's found guilty of drug smuggling.
It's not yet known whether Ms Corby's defence team has persuaded the Indonesian judges that she's simply a victim of a domestic Australian drug smuggling ring.
Professor Paul Wilson, the head of Criminology at Queensland's Bond University, has just returned from Bali where he testified in the case, and he's speaking here to ABC radio's Brisbane 612 presenter, Steve Austin.
PAUL WILSON: Basically I compared her characteristics, personal characteristics, background characteristics, with those of drug couriers. And I also analysed the crime as I saw it. I came to the conclusion, based on many, many facts, that she had no intent to put drugs in the bag, she had no knowledge of it, and that she was innocent. And I said that.
It was a fairly bizarre setting to be saying these things, in an Indonesian court with the media running around, a cameraman and woman rushing behind the judges, sound recorders sticking mikes in front of you all the time, but the experience was highly emotional, not only actually giving evidence, but also just being there and being involved in the case.
STEVE AUSTIN: It's getting the atmosphere of being a show trial, almost, at the moment, isn't it, in Indonesia?
PAUL WILSON: Well, yes, they have lots of show trials in Indonesia, partly because their system is very different from ours. It's essentially an inquisitorial system. And the judges control proceedings and ask most of the questions, and they can at times ask questions in a fairly direct way.
One experience that sticks in my mind was when one of the judges said to me: well, you're a criminologist, you should be able to read faces and know whether Schapelle Corby is innocent or not.
And then he asked Schapelle Corby to stand up and for me to stand up and for me to look in her eyes and say whether I thought she was innocent or not. And I said to the judge, and to the court, I said well, I cannot just come to a conclusion based on looking at her eyes.
But I have interviewed her, I have analysed her case in some detail, and I have looked at the records regarding her prior behaviour before her arrest and during her arrest, and I'd come to the conclusion that she had no intent.
And I was put on the spot a bit, because you're not asked those sort of very direct questions in courts in Australia, at which stage the crowd in the court clapped me. I was taken aback by this. I didn't really think clapping was appropriate in courts, but it happened.
But this question came right out of the blue, and that's how proceedings happen in Indonesian courts. The judges can ask anything they want to, anything at all they want to.
One point I will make, though, is that the leading Indonesian barrister in the case, who's done something like 350 drug trials in Indonesia, and mainly in Bali but not entirely in Bali, told me that he's only had three or four acquittals.
And what that means is that under Indonesian law, you virtually have to reverse the onus of proof, and you have to prove that there is another scenario, another way that the drugs could have gotten in the bag. It's not really for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt. The onus is on you the defence to…
STEVE AUSTIN: Prove innocence?
PAUL WILSON: to prove innocence, and to give another way in which the drugs could have got in the bag. So I think that's the reason why Robin Tampoe and Ron Bakir and the Indonesian team have brought this informer over, despite the risks of doing so.
Schapelle Corby's lawyers have presented their defense. On April 7 court will resume and we will hear the verdict and sentence.
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Corby suicide fears force sick father to dash to Bali
April 3, 2005
Schapelle Corby's cancer-stricken father will fly to Bali in the next 48 hours after receiving fresh family reports that his daughter is suicidal.
Michael Corby is clinging to the hope his unannounced arrival in Indonesia might give his daughter the vital lift she needs to cope with prison life until May when her court verdict is expected.
In his first full interview, he told The Sun-Herald from his home on the Gold Coast: "My daughter's health is deteriorating and the rest of the family out there need a break. They are struggling badly."
Mr Corby, who is battling prostate cancer, plans to raise his daughter's spirits by handing her a special photograph from her childhood days.
The picture shows Corby excited at meeting Father Christmas for the first time with her two young cousins. "I found it while I was packing and the moment she sees it, I know it's going to light up her face. She has such a beautiful smile, and this will bring it back."
Mr Corby, a retired coalminer, remains adamant his 27-year-old daughter is the innocent victim of a domestic drug trafficking ring.
In October last year, he kissed her goodbye as she left for a flight bound for Bali. The journey was supposed to lead to a tropical vacation with friends and family. But six months on, her life hangs in the balance after 4.1 kilograms of marijuana was found by Denpasar airport officials stashed inside her bodyboard bag. If she is found guilty, prosecutors are expected to push for the death penalty.
Breaking his six-month silence, Mr Corby, 55, relived the moment his world was turned upside down.
He said: "I was asleep at home when my ex-wife phoned and told me Schapelle had been arrested in Bali, that they'd found this bag of marijuana in her bag. My medication was knocking me around a bit back then. Anyway, I must have dozed off again because when I awoke, my first thought was, what a strange bloody dream.
"A short time later the phone rang. It was a television journalist. That's when it hit me it was true."
He said he was distressed when he later saw news footage of his daughter begging for her freedom so she could return home and see her dying father.
"I could have five days, six weeks, two years left, who knows. But the sad thing is, Schapelle has already lost her gran in the time she's been stuck in jail. She missed the funeral, which was very hard on her because there was no chance to say goodbye."
Mr Corby insisted his daughter had never been involved with recreational drugs.
"She hates drugs of any sort."
He told how his daughter, as a teenager, had dragged him back to reality after he became semi-dependent on prescription pills.
Mr Corby recalled the day when everything came to a head. "Schapelle was playing with her mates. I was on the couch as usual when suddenly she burst in and stared straight at me. She yelled, 'You're not my dad any more . . . just look at you . . . these drugs have turned you into a completely different person.' She grabbed the pills and raced to the toilet. Before I could stop her she had managed to flush the whole lot away.
"I was so mad at the time but weeks, months later I realised what these things had been doing to me."
Struggling to contain his tears, he said: "The young girl who did that for me that day is the same girl now locked up over there."
Mr Corby also revealed his daughter should have been on a different plane but that plans had been changed at the last minute.
"If she had been on an earlier flight we wouldn't be here now. You just have to hope these things balance themselves out."
Corby could be transferred home if found guilty
April 3, 2005
Australia may seek to repatriate alleged drug trafficker Schapelle Corby if she was convicted by an Indonesian court, Justice Minister Chris Ellison said today.
Senator Ellison said Australia and Indonesia were already involved in transfer of prisoner agreements and this might apply to Corby who is accused of smuggling 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali's Denpasar airport last October.
And he said Australia would vigorously fight to save Corby's life if she is convicted and faced the death penalty.
Corby, a former Gold Coast beauty school student, has denied having anything to do with the drugs found in her unlocked boogie bag when she arrived in Bali.
A Victorian prisoner, John Ford, has told a Bali court that Melbourne man Ron Vigenser owned the marijuana found in Corby' boogie board bag.
Ford, the key defence witness in Corby's trial, told the Denpasar District Court last week that Corby was caught up in a drug smuggling operation at Australian airports.
Senator Ellison defended the handling of the case by Indonesian authorities, saying they had worked closely with Australian authorities on many aspects of the case.
He said that close working arrangements would also extend to a possible return of Corby to Australia if she was eventually convicted.
"If there is a finding of guilt, then of course we'll be looking at a transfer of prisoner agreement with Indonesia which we're doing anyway," he told the Ten Network.
Senator Ellison said Australia would make strong representations if Corby faced the death penalty.
"If a death penalty was imposed, then of course the government makes very strong representations in that regard," he said.
"We go into overdrive in making representations to avoid (the death penalty) being carried out."
Senator Ellison defended the Australian Federal Police (AFP) over accusations it had failed to properly investigate the claims made by Ford.
He said that investigation was ongoing.
"The AFP take those allegations ver seriously and that investigation is ongoing," he said.
"The AFP is continuing to work with the Queensland police in regard to this.
"Mr Ford made an allegation during the course of his evidence in Bali that there was involvement of a baggage handler in relation to the drug trafficking concern.
"The AFP take that seriously."
Last seen: 7 years, 7 months
this is the most fucked up thing i have read about in my entire life. I am so glad you posted this. The world really needs to change, i hope my generation will do this. Spread your karma to this poor girl.
8 years now! lol
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