help me, pleads drug accused * bali

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    Help me, help me pleads drug accused
    By Cindy Wockner
    October 13, 2004

    THE Australian woman facing a death sentence for smuggling drugs into Bali begged her family for help yesterday.

    As Schapelle Leigh Corby was taken back to her cell after a 90-minute interrogation at Bali police headquarters in Denpasar, she pleaded with reporters: "Help, help. Tell Mum and Dad I love them."

    Ms Corby, 27, a beauty therapy student from Tugun on Queensland's Gold Coast, was arrested on Friday after a 4kg bag of marijuana was found in her luggage -- the largest quantity of cannabis ever taken into Bali.

    Since then she has been crying and screaming in her cell and staying in the toilet for hours, Balinese police said.

    Bali's chief narcotics detective, Lt-Colonel Bambang Sugiarto, said that, during her interrogation, Corby became very upset as she repeatedly denied the allegations through her lawyer.

    "She became very stressed, crying and screaming," he said.

    Police said the drug haul consisted of high-quality marijuana and would sell on the streets of Bali for about 14 times the cost of locally grown marijuana.

    Colonel Bambang said Corby had identified the drug, known as lemon juice in Bali, when customs officers opened the bag of her bodyboard at the airport.

    "When the customs officer said 'what's this?', she said, 'It's marijuana'. She knew what it was," he said.

    But during yesterday's interrogation she had told officers it was like cattle feed in Australia.

    Colonel Bambang said Ms Corby had told police the plastic bag was not hers but that the bodyboard travel bag in which the plastic bag was found was.

    "The marijuana was put into the bag and was not hidden by anything, not like the normal methods used by drug smugglers. It was just in a normal plastic bag," Colonel Bambang said.

    "The marijuana is not the same as normal marijuana sold locally. The smell is much different. It is much stronger."

    A source close to Corby's lawyers said she had been as shocked as the customs officers who opened her bag.

    "She said when they opened the bag, the smell of the marijuana hit her in the face. She couldn't believe it," the source said.

    Corby's legal team met with the Australian consulate-general yesterday asking for help obtaining information for their case.

    "We are turning over every stone possible to prove that she is innocent," lawyer Lily Sri Rahayu Lubis said.

    Authorities at Brisbane and Sydney airports had been contacted regarding security measures for international luggage from the time it is checked-in until it arrives in the next destination, and checking whether the weight record of Corby's bodyboard bag in Brisbane matched that in Bali.

    Lawyers are investigating the possibility the package may have been planted there without Corby's knowledge.

    According to her passport, Ms Corby has visited Bali five times since 1999. On this trip she was with her brother and two sisters. Another sister is married to a local and lives in Bali.

    The Daily Telegraph



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