Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Bali High Court to reopen Corby case -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Bali High Court to reopen Corby case

Reporter: Maxine McKew

MAXINE McKEW: First tonight - the latest twist in the Schapelle Corby case with the startling news
today that the Indonesian High Court will reopen the hearing. The surprise announcement follows
lobbying from the Corby legal team to present new witnesses who they say will prove she did not own
the marijuana found in her possession at Bali's international airport last October. No date has
been set but the hearing will be presided over by the very same judges who convicted the
27-year-old part-time beauty student. It's the first good news for Schapelle Corby, her family and
supporters since that fateful day in May when she was sentenced to 20 years in prison. For an
analysis of the latest developments in Bali, I spoke to Indonesian law expert Tim Lindsey in
Melbourne a short while ago.

MAXINE McKEW: Tim Lindsey, now that the High Court has reopened this case, what's the process from
here?

PROFESSOR TIM LINDSEY, ASIAN LAW CENTRE, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE: Well, it's not clear. The High
Court has had a press conference where they've indicated they're asking the District Court to hear
any new evidence, any new witnesses that the defence can get before it. It appears that the
decision of the judges stands. It's described as sufficient and appropriate, etc., so that will
remain in place. It appears that any new witness that might alter the verdict would be something
that would be then taken into account, presumably by the High Court.

MAXINE McKEW: The defence team is suggesting they potentially want to hear from dozens of
witnesses. Are the judges likely to allow testimony from that many people?

TIM LINDSEY: Again, what the High Court judges said is that the evidence that's going to be
presented, the new witnesses, must directly relate to the question of how the marijuana got into
the boogie board, and that the defence can't just call a huge stream of people, dozens of people.
They must be directly relevant to the question of how the marijuana got into that bag. That's very
restrictive, because the big problem the defence team has had to date is finding anybody who can
give concrete evidence on that point, not background, not general context, not problems at
airports, but actually how it got into the bag.

MAXINE McKEW: Who might we be talking about then, Australians, Indonesians, a mix of both?

TIM LINDSEY: There's a big list. Most of them appear to be Australians in Australia. They've asked
for check-in staff, airport authorities, baggage handlers. They've also referred to a person called
Terry, who is someone who's been referred to quite often, and is presumably the person that the
prisoner John Ford made reference to, although he apparently didn't mention the name in his own
evidence. This is the person who it's said the drugs belong to. So the defence lawyer, Hotman Paris
Hutapea, is asking that all these people, blanket categories and more specific categories be heard.
The question is, how do they get from Australia to Bali?

MAXINE McKEW: You've already had Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today saying the Australian
Government will pay for any Australian prisoners to go to Indonesia if they're required.

TIM LINDSEY: That's one thing. Getting baggage handlers and airport staff is one thing but getting
a person who may - assuming this person does exist and assuming they're prepared to admit something
that would be admitting to a serious criminal offence, if the Government gets them over there, why
would they go there and admit to a serious criminal offence, perhaps change places with Schapelle
Corby in jail? Anyone who admitted that would surely be facing the same charges Schapelle Corby
faced. In Australia we have a privilege against self-incrimination that means a person is not
obliged to incriminate themselves with admissions. They can't be made to. A prisoner can't be made
to travel to Indonesia, can't be made to admit an allegation against him or or her.

MAXINE McKEW: Are you saying you simply don't find this suggestion by Corby's defence team at all
creditable, that there is somewhere this witness who would claim ownership of that marijuana?

TIM LINDSEY: It would seem a risky thing for a person who is already in jail to do. Under what
circumstances might it be to their advantage to do that? Why would they be motivated to do it? It
seems that this letter to the court is more or less a fishing expedition to see what can be brought
up. Clearly these these things are material, as to what happened at this airport. But it's been
gone through. Does this person Terry exist? Would he agree to go to Indonesia and give this
evidence? It's pretty unlikely.

MAXINE McKEW: Let's assume for a moment such a person does exist and comes before the court, and
says "in fact this is the case, you know, I claim ownership." What difference does that make to
Corby's case? I mean what distinction will the court make between say ownership and trafficking in
the drug?

TIM LINDSEY: Well, I think it depends on what evidence is given. The question is: who put the drugs
into the bag, for the purpose of bringing them to Bali? That's what the judges have said in the
press conference. It must be about that issue. The drugs could belong to somebody else, but maybe
Corby decided to take them on that person's behalf. It comes down to exactly what evidence that
person will give, if indeed the person is prepared to give evidence, if indeed the person exists.
The issue isn't really who pays for the flight; the question is whether they'll go at all and what
they've got to say. This is, again, a smokescreen if you like. It confuses the issue further. Until
we see exactly who's going to give evidence and exactly what their evidence will be. Let's just say
that the evidence is the way the defence lawyer is suggesting it might be, although he is being
very unspecific about it. Let's say she is let off on appeal. The prosecution would appeal it again
to the Supreme Court after that. So this is not the critical moment. It remains to be seen whether
anything comes of it.

MAXINE McKEW: Just to be clear, the drugs would have to have been planted without Schapelle Corby's
knowledge and in that case, could she walk free?

TIM LINDSEY: Well, if that is the evidence, and the court is convinced that it's truthful, yes, she
would walk free. The question isn't really ownership, the question is who put it in there and did
she know about it and why was it there? If the evidence supports her defence case, yes, she would
walk free. That would be quite an extraordinary admission by a person to make in an Indonesian
court, given the severe penalties for drugs offences as we've seen, but it would probably get her
off.

MAXINE McKEW: To some up - you seem to be suggesting that what we're seeing now then is little more
than legal theatrics on the part of Schapelle Corby's defence team?

TIM LINDSEY: There could be witnesses who might be able to exculpate her. On the other hand, this
throws up an enormous smokescreen, a whole lot of vague and technical arguments. If something is
improper is going on, that's the sort of excuse a judge would use. Let's not forget this defence
lawyer has said that he's been involved in improper activities and is temporarily clean, he says,
for this case.

MAXINE McKEW: Tim Lindsey, Thank you very much for that, indeed.

TIM LINDSEY: Thank you.