Australia appeals for no execution in Indonesian drug case

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Thursday, April 7, 2005

A 27-year-old former beauty student from the Gold Coast of Australia faces the death penalty. She was allegedly caught at Bali airport importing marijuana from Australia in October. Appearing before an Indonesian judge after authorities found 4.1kg of high-grade cannabis in her unlocked boarding bag, she could be sentenced to death by firing squad, the maximum penalty for the crime.

With that possibility looming for Ms. Corby, her father journeyed to her side, and an anonymous email petition was distributed around Australia and overseas, calling on the Australian government to ensure that, innocent or guilty, Ms. Corby is returned to Australia to escape execution.

An Australian witness who volunteered information which he says will endanger his own life, has testified that Schapelle Corby was unwittingly caught up in a domestic Australian drug-running operation gone wrong. The man alleged that Australian airport workers had placed the contraband in her luggage after it had been checked-in, with the drugs to have been removed before the luggage left Australia. [1]

Ms. Corby, who says she is innocent of the charges, staggered and paused to vomit while being led through a throng of journalists watching her trial in Jakarta, Indonesia, earlier today.

"I'm really sick," Ms. Corby told Densbar's head judge Linton Sirait, who told her to take better care of herself in jail so she would not get diarrhea. "Don't be stressed," Judge Sirait added as he adjourned the trial until April 14.

Her sister said a doctor would visit her in prison to assess her condition. Her father, suffering with prostate cancer, said it was difficult to watch his daughter struggling so hard when things were nearing the "nitty-gritty now."

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Schapelle Corby

He added: "The stress and the whole thing and the stomach cramps and the nerves. It's getting on top of her."

Australian politicians, noting the public support thrown behind the Gold Coast citizen, are promising to take her case up on several issues with the Indonesian Attorney-General later today. However, Mr. Corby expressed doubts that politicians could work things out: "It depends on what they call justice here [in Indonesia]. It looks a bit fairyland to me."

"Everything's reversed here. You're guilty until you're proven innocent," commented Mr. Corby in Indonesia. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is said to be monitoring the case to ensure the court hands down a just and fair verdict.