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Schapelle Corby found guilty, sentenced to 20 years

Friday, May 27, 2005

Schapelle Corby was today found guilty by an Indonesian court for the importation of 4 kilograms of marijuana to Bali. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The verdict was handed down by three judges amidst tight security at the Denpasar District Court.

The verdict was read in Indonesian and relayed to Corby via her translator. The court erupted as the outcome became clear. Her family and supporters screamed at the judge, and said that justice had not been done. "Scheppelle is innocent!" one supporter said.

Her lawyer reported before the verdict was handed down that she was terrified. "She's probably the worst I've ever seen her," he said.

After the verdict she stopped briefly to hug her family before being loaded into a van and driven away.

Corby was arrested at Denpasar Airport last October. On her trip to Bali, she flew from Brisbane to Sydney and then changed planes. Her defense centered around the claim that Australian airport baggage handlers placed the drugs in her bodyboard bag as part of a drug smuggling ring. It was claimed that the drugs were being smuggled from Brisbane to Sydney, but for some reason were not removed before her luggage was transferred to the Indonesian flight.

After a lengthy trial that attracted much media attention in Australia, prosecutors called for the judges to hand down a life sentence.

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Schapelle Corby

Hundreds of supporters and friends gathered at Tugun Surf-Lifesaving Club on the Gold Coast to watch the verdict and show their support.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that he felt for Corby but that Australians had to trust the Indonesian justice system. "We have to respect the justice system of other countries," he said.

The judge said she had until next Wednesday to appeal.

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