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Prosecutors recommend life sentence for Corby -

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Prosecutors recommend life sentence for Corby

Reporter: Tracy Bowden

MAXINE McKEW: Well, it wasn't the worst possible news for Schapelle Corby today in the Denpasar
District Court, but it was extremely grim. The 27-year-old beauty student has been spared death by
firing squad, but could face life imprisonment if she is found guilty of drug trafficking. The
prosecution team today dismissed the significance of last-minute witnesses called by the defence,
and stood by their case that more than 4 kilograms of marijuana was found in Schapelle Corby's
luggage when she arrived in Bali last October. While it is the three judges presiding over the
trial who will ultimately decide Schapelle Corby's fate, they are expected to be strongly
influenced by today's submissions from the prosecution. At the same time, the judges have stressed
they won't be affected by this week's arrest of nine Australians in relation to heroin trafficking
charges in Bali. Tracy Bowden reports.

JODIE POWER: Mentally and physically she is deteriorating. Now it's drawing to the end, I think she
is scared of what will happen. This is her reality now. This is it.

TRACY BOWDEN: And the reality is that today in the Denpasar District Court Schapelle Corby heard
the prosecutor utter the words she has been dreading since her arrest seven months ago.

COURT TRANSLATOR: She said life sentence for you, Schapelle. It will be minus whatever time you
have spent in jail. This is only a closing statement from the prosecutor. This is not the end.

TRACY BOWDEN: Schapelle Corby has escaped the death penalty, but the prosecution team requested a
life sentence and a fine of $13,400 if the 27-year-old is found guilty of smuggling more than 4
kilograms of marijuana into Bali.

DR DAMIEN KINGSBURY, INDONESIAN SPECIALIST, DEAKIN UNIVERSITY: The prosecutors will indicate the
severity of the crime to the judge, which is indicated in the sentence, and the judge will take
that into consideration when handing down the sentence. So, in this case, I think Schapelle Corby
is looking at many, many years in jail. It will probably be in the order of 10 to 15 years.

JODIE POWER: I'm just hoping that she can be extradited back to Australia and do her sentence here.
If she is not found innocent and she has to do time, I can't not think anything else. I have to
think there is still some hope.

TRACY BOWDEN: But for Jodie Power, the hope that has sustained her since her friend Schapelle Corby
was jailed in Bali is running thin.

JODIE POWER: I've had so many theories in the beginning, and now it's completely different.
Everything seems to be stacked against her.

TRACY BOWDEN: Jodie Power should know. A long-time friend of the Corby family, she travelled to
Bali on the same day as Schapelle Corby. They were both heading there to celebrate the 30th
birthday of Schapelle Corby's older sister, Mercedes. That celebration never happened. For the last
seven months, Jodie Power has spent most of her time in Bali, to be there for her friend. She has
witnessed the courtroom drama.

JODIE POWER: It's nothing like it is here in Australia. It's a complete circus. As soon as you hear
the sirens come, you know that Schapelle is turning up in the police van. The media is just totally
tightly knit surrounding her. And then she has to pretty much fight her way to get through to the
holding cell. And then when she is led into the courtroom, it's a joke. The courtroom is a joke.
Everyone is dropping...reporters are in there dropping their mobile phones, dropping their cameras,
mobile phones going off throughout the whole entire hearing. It's a joke.

DR DAMIEN KINGSBURY: The legal system in Indonesia is different to the Australian or indeed, most
Western systems in many respects. There is a presumption of guilt once you've been charged. As I
said, you have to essentially prove your innocence. There is a much more subjective approach to the
sentencing and, indeed, to the whole presentation of evidence. And the normal rules that apply,
say, in Australia about interference, things that are sub judice and so on simply doesn't apply in
Indonesia.

TRACY BOWDEN: But today, as Schapelle Corby arrived at the court, the scene was more controlled,
with the Indonesian police keeping the media at bay. This time, Jodie Power wasn't there. She is
almost 5,000 kilometre away, back home in Byron Bay on the NSW northern coast.

JODIE POWER: I cannot comprehend that they're going to say, "You've got life." There is not enough
evidence. You can't put an innocent girl away for something she didn't do. I can't...I can't deal
with that.

DR DAMIEN KINGSBURY: They could not prove to the satisfaction of the court that the drugs were not
hers. There was some indication that they weren't, and indeed, if there was an issue of doubt,
there is certainly doubt, but the Indonesian legal system does not rely on being beyond reasonable
doubt.

TRACY BOWDEN: Even back in Australia, there is no escaping the reality of her friend's plight. And
this week, more confronting headlines - the arrest of nine Australians in Bali for allegedly
trafficking heroin. The families of those arrested this week have now started to arrive in Bali,
stunned at what may lie ahead for their loved ones. But in Jodie Power's mind, this latest case of
alleged drug trafficking is vastly different from Schapelle Corby's.

JODIE POWER: These nine Australians, or how many, had heroin strapped to their bodies. Schapelle
checked her luggage in, in Brisbane, and never saw it again until Denpasar. There is absolutely no
comparison whatsoever. I think it's ridiculous.

TRACY BOWDEN: Ridiculous or not, could it affect the outcome of Schapelle Corby's case?

JODIE POWER: My fear is they're just...they're connecting Australians with drug trafficking. So I
don't know - just the way that the Indonesians or the prosecutors or whoever over there could
possibly think along those same lines, you know, "Oh, Australians, drug smugglers."

TRACY BOWDEN: But will the three judges presiding over the trial be influenced?

DR DAMIEN KINGSBURY: There might be a general sense that basically Australians are prone to drug
smuggling and that's certainly not going to help the case at all. But I think, more importantly,
what this means now, if they're asking for life for Schapelle Corby, it means that they really will
be asking for the maximum penalty for the alleged heroin smugglers.

TRACY BOWDEN: Indonesian specialist Dr Damien Kingsbury says the judges presiding over this trial
have a much less stringent approach than their Australian counterparts.

DR DAMIEN KINGSBURY: The level of legal training is pretty low by international standards. Some
judges are trained internationally, but these three, I understand, are not. That means that their
understanding of rules of evidence and so on and their capacity for evidence to be tampered with or
to be otherwise modified is pretty low. Again, they're not going to be looking at the niceties or
the fine points of the judicial process. They're going to be looking at essentially the prima facie
evidence and judging accordingly.

TRACY BOWDEN: After today's devastating news, Schapelle Corby is once again waiting. Next week the
defence team is expected to deliver its final submissions, with the judges due to announce their
verdict in mid- to late-May.

DR DAMIEN KINGSBURY: I think things are looking pretty grim at the moment. It's almost certain that
Schapelle Corby will be convicted and it's almost certain that she will receive a heavy sentence.
That means she will spend a lot of time in an Indonesian jail. There may be some presidential
intervention at a later stage, but she would have to serve several years in jail before that could
possibly occur.

JODIE POWER: I'm never going to give up on her. Yes, in the beginning I was crying a lot. Then I
started just getting angry, just like, "Come on, can't someone do more? There's got to be something
done. Like where is all this evidence gone? Like, where is everything? Why can't they find the
person that did it?" And now, I don't know what to feel now. I just...I want it to be over for
Schapelle.

TRACY BOWDEN: For Jodie Power, it's still impossible to comprehend how a holiday with friends could
end up with one of them destined to spend the best years of her life behind bars. She wonders where
her friend Schapelle Corby will find the strength to keep going.

JODIE POWER: I don't think she will handle being there. I don't think she will cope, not any
longer. She's...it's too hard. I don't think...no, she won't.

MAXINE McKEW: Tracy Bowden with that report.