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Corby Appeal Chaos -

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(generated from captions) the last to week

Yes, the economy starts to tick

over once there is confidence in

the bush that's for sure.

Schapelle Corby's appeal took another interesting turn last night. She's apparently sacked her new strategist and re-hired eccentric Jakarta lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea. So is all the firing and hiring harming Schapelle's chances of having her sentence reduced? And how is it affecting Australia's relations with Indonesia? Let's ask Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer. Good morning. Minister, are you concerned about the chopping and changing of Schapelle's legal team?

Honestly in the end her legal team

is matter for Schapelle Corby. We

drew her attention to the fact that

there are two QCs who are prepared

to act inform are her probono and

we were happy to recommend them but

who she chews toes hire in the end

is a matter for her and her family

and obviously there have been

differences of opinion between them

all and that has been extremely

public which is unusual. But

bearing all that in mind I hope she

is now settled on a team Minister, Hotman Paris Hutapea

blames Mark Trowell the QC that you

helped appoint for jeopardising

Schapelle's case. Do you agree that

that has happened? And what do you

think of Hotman Paris Hutapea?

I mean, look, they are all

becoming characters in a soap opera

aren't they? I think we are all

watching very closely and with a

great deal of interest, but of

course in my position I'm not

really prefired comment publicly on

what I think about it all. I think

the main thing here is to settle on

a team and make sure they put

forward a credible case in the

appeals court. As far as the

Indonesians are concerned, none of

the Indonesians have mentioned it

to me I must say over the last two

weeks, not since we last spoke - or

I last spoke to the Foreign

Minister, which was straight after

the so-called powder attack on the

Indonesian embassy have I spoken to

him or any senior Indonesian

officials. So I think they just

realise this is a case going to the

appeals court and who hires whom to

represent them in that court, that

is just a matter for all those

people themselves. It is not a

matter for governments

You have helped them out a lot

though and you see this circus

going on at the moment, do you feel

like just shaking them by the

shoulders and saying "Guys, settle

down. This is not doing your case

any good". It just seems to have

got out of control

It is hard to believe that it is

helpful. On the other hand, I

suspect the appeals court judges

will make a decision on the merits

of the case put before them rather

than on these kinds of issues, but

I have always said and I think Philip Ruddock the Attorney-General

said as well that it would be best

if a lot of this was handled

privately rather than tin full

blaze of publicity. There are other

cases of Australians in prison

overseas on various charges and

many of them relating to drugs and

very low-profile by comparison. The

general advice that is given is to

keep the whole process low-profile

if you possibly can, which admit

Edly you can't always

You mentioned other cases overseas.

I would like to ask you about that.

There are three Australians facing

judge charges in Hong Kong. I want

to know what sort of legal help is

being given to them when you have

appointed a QC to help Schapelle

cosh by but I understand these

people are having equivalent of Legal Aid.

No, that is all that we do. When I

say all - that is what we do do.

Look at it this way, in Australia

if somebody can't afford their

defence then they can apply for Legal Aid. If overseas Australians

get into trouble and they can't

afford their defence they can apply to the Attorney-General's scheme

for a kind of equivalent, to the

department for an equivalent scheme.

I'm not sure in the case of the

three who have been arrested in

Hong Kong whether they have done

that but in Schapelle Corby's case

she did make application or her

lawyers made an application for

that financial assistance and we

did support them. In the case of

the two QCs they came forward

initially and said they would be

prepared to help her pro bo flrbgs

o and we have obviously tried to

facilitate that. Pro bono being for

free. In the case of the three in

Hong Kong I'm not sure what their

financial circumstances are but

they are able to make application

in the same way as any Australians

in the same circumstances can

So you are not giving favoured

treatment to Schapelle as some

people are insinuateing?

I'm not in favour of giving

favourite treatment to anyone but

I'm in favour of giving the reason

Mr Support Mr Support as

Mr Support as we can they decisions

in Bali and Hong Kong - one of

these Australians is only 15 - in

all of these cases we are able to

help them in the way I have

described in relation on to

financial assistance if that is needed

If they required a QC and they did

apply you would facilitate that?

You would have the same level of

support there for them as you have

shown Schapelle Corby?

If a QC was prepared to come

forward for free as has happened in

Schapelle Corby's case - why if two

QCs have offered to do the work for

free that is a matter for them. But

if QCs want to come forward and

help the three in Hong Kong in in

those circumstances we would pass

the information on and do what we

could to facilitate it. If other

Australians other than the

Government want to help that is for them

Minister thank you for joining us,