Latest Drug War News

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!

Shop online at and a percentage of each purchase will be donated to our cause! More than 600 top stores are participating!

The Internet Our Website

Global and National Events Calendar

Bottoms Up: Guide to Grassroots Activism

Prisons and Poisons

November Coalition Projects

Get on the Soapbox! with Soap for Change

November Coalition: We Have Issues!

November Coalition Local Scenes

November Coalition Multimedia Archive

The Razor Wire
Bring Back Federal Parole!
November Coalition: Our House

Stories from Behind The WALL

November Coalition: Nora's Blog

July 5, 2005 - The Herald Sun (Australia)

Indonesia: Corby Shock As Trial Is Reopened

By Cindy Wockner

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

SCHAPELLE Corby's drug smuggling trial will be reopened so new witnesses from Australia can be called.

Yesterday's shock decision by the Denpasar High Court paves the way for her lawyers to call the 12 witnesses they say could win her freedom.

It was greeted by whoops of joy and cries of "thank God" from her lawyers and family.

Corby's sister, Mercedes, was ecstatic.

"She is going to be relieved. It is really great news," she said.

Rosleigh Rose, Corby's mother, said she was "over the moon".

"It's fantastic news and it's one step closer to bringing Schapelle home," she said.

Ms Rose called on the Federal Government to "pull their finger out" and help arrange witnesses -- including the alleged owner of the 4.1kg of marijuana Corby says was planted in her bodyboard bag last October.

"The Government can't pussyfoot around . . . they have to give the lawyers the witnesses they need," she said.

Corby's sacked-then-reinstated lawyer Erwin Siregar said the decision was a surprise, but it was now incumbent on the Indonesian and Australian governments to co-operate to get the witnesses to Bali.

A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said Australia had received no formal request from Indonesia.

She said if Australian prisoners were asked to give evidence the Government could help, but the inmates would have to agree, and "any request would need to come from the Indonesian Government".

The court's Chief Judge, Gusti Made Lingga, said that while the evidence at the trial appeared sufficient, the defence had presented "relevant" reasons for the case to be reopened, based on the doubts raised that someone could have planted the drugs in Corby's bag at either Sydney or Brisbane airports.

He said Corby could be acquitted or her sentence slashed.

But sceptical prosecutor I.B. Wiswantanu said the only witness who could help Corby was a person convicted of putting the drugs in her bag.

The hearing is not a complete retrial -- it will consider only new witnesses' evidence.

It will be heard by the same panel of three judges who convicted Corby and sentenced her to 20 years' jail.

But they will not decide guilt or innocence this time. That will be done by three High Court judges, based on a report of the proceedings.

The High Court has indicated that it wants the reopened case to begin as soon as possible, but it could be up to a month before it is organised.

The defence had asked that 12 witnesses be called, including former Victorian prisoner Ronnie Vigenser, whom the court heard was the owner of the 4.1kg of marijuana found in Corby's bag.

Mr Vigenser has already denied the claims.

Another prisoner, John Patrick Ford, was brought from Australia for the trial to tell of overhearing a jail conversation in which two prisoners named Mr Vigenser as the drug's owner.

The defence also wants those two prisoners -- known only as Paul and Terry -- brought to Bali.

At least one is believed to be still in a Melbourne jail and has said he is not involved in the case.

The list also includes Qantas and Australian Airlines check-in and CCTV officials, baggage-handling officials from Sydney and Brisbane airports, and the Customs chief at Brisbane airport.

Mr Vigenser said he was happy to tell his story in Bali, as long as his travel expenses were paid.

"Why not? F-----g oath. I'll go for a holiday and tell them what I know -- which is nothing. Not a problem," he said.

Mr Ford's wife, Rita, said he was also prepared to return to Bali.

He is on remand on charges of raping, stalking and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Corby's former Australian lawyer, Robin Tampoe, who quit after accusing her family of greed and disloyalty, said the retrial was good news.

He said an acquittal would be difficult, but a substantial cut in sentence was possible if the right evidence, including the alleged role of airport baggage handlers in drug running, was presented.

For the latest drug war news, visit our friends and allies below

We are careful not to duplicate the efforts of other organizations, and as a grassroots coalition of prisoners and social reformers, our resources (time and money) are limited. The vast expertise and scope of the various drug reform organizations will enable you to stay informed on the ever-changing, many-faceted aspects of the movement. Our colleagues in reform also give the latest drug war news. Please check their websites often.

The Drug Policy Alliance
Drug Reform Coordination Network
Drug Sense and The Media Awareness Project

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact