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Corby case drugs destroyed
Cindy Wockner in Denpasar - March 18, 2006
Photo opportunity ... Corby's lawyer says the media-staged drug destruction destroys crucial evidence. Picture: Lukman Bintoro
THE 4.1kg of marijuana that landed Schapelle Corby a 20-year jail term went up in smoke in Bali yesterday.

Her boogie board and the blue board bag, which had contained the stash of drugs and her flippers, were also set alight with long flaming poles amid much pomp and ceremony.

The torching of the 28-year-old's property and the marijuana – part of the Bali prosecution's periodic destruction of drug evidence – went ahead despite a last-minute plea from her lawyers to have it stopped.

The Corby evidence was destroyed alongside that from 56 other cases, including almost 2kg of heroin, almost 1000 ecstasy pills and 800 bottles of beer.

Its destruction was ordered by the Supreme Court in Jakarta, which recently rejected her appeal and reinstated her 20-year sentence for drug smuggling. With the Bali prosecution's boss, police chiefs and the local mayor in attendance, the morning's burning took on almost regal and ritualistic tones.

The marijuana was emptied into a drum, kerosene poured over it before five officials, brandishing fire sticks and wearing surgical masks, lit the marijuana.

The boogie board, bag and flipper met the same fate, with a great plume of black smoke heralding their destruction.

Nearby a steamroller drove backwards and forwards over the 800 bottles of beer, part of a case where the correct tax had not been paid.

Before proceedings got under way in the car park of the Denpasar Prosecutor's office, Corby's lawyer, Erwin Siregar, made a last plea to stop the evidence being burned.

The marijuana has never been tested for origin and Mr Siregar had implored prosecutors to keep it should new evidence be found about the true owner of the drugs. Corby has always maintained her innocence, arguing she is the victim of a drug ring who planted the marijuana in her luggage without her knowledge. But she has exhausted all avenues of appeal unless fresh evidence comes to light.

As the marijuana burned behind him, Mr Siregar pointed to the flaming drum, describing it as a "big problem" if the case were re-opened and there was no marijuana left to test or to compare.

Mr Siregar said Corby's legal team was still working on an extraordinary appeal in a bid to win her freedom.

However, the prosecution refused to delay the destruction, which was ordered by the Supreme Court.

Mr Siregar said Corby and her family were upset at yesterday's burning because "we don't have a chance any more to bring this evidence to the court when there is an extraordinary appeal".

Corby's despair as evidence burns
By CINDY WOCKNER

AMIDST pomp, ceremony and flaming fire sticks, the 4.1kg of marijuana which landed Schapelle Corby in a Bali court and a 20-year jail term, went up in smoke yesterday.

Along with it was her beloved boogie board, flippers and the blue boogie board bag which had contained the plastic bag of drugs.

The 28-year-old's property and the marijuana were destroyed as part of the Bali prosecution's periodic destruction of drug evidence, which went ahead despite a last-minute plea from her lawyers to have it stopped.

The Corby evidence was among that of 56 drug cases burned yesterday, including almost 2kg of heroin and almost 1000 ecstasy pills.

Its destruction was ordered by the Supreme Court in Jakarta, which rejected her appeal and reinstated her 20-year sentence for drug smuggling. With the Bali prosecution's chief, police chiefs and the local mayor in attendance, the morning's burning of evidence had an almost ceremonial bent.

The 4.1kg of the drug was emptied into a drum and had kerosene poured over it before five officials, brandishing flaming fire sticks and wearing surgical masks, dipped them into the marijuana.

It took more than an hour for the lot to be reduced to ashes - and with it, Corby's chances of ever having it tested.

The same fate met the boogie board, bag and flippers. A great plume of black smoke heralded their destruction.

Earlier - before proceedings got underway in the carpark of the Denpasar Prosecutor's office - Corby's lawyer Erwin Siregar made a last plea to stop the drugs being burned.

The marijuana has never been tested for origin and Mr Siregar had implored prosecutors to keep it should new evidence be revealed about the drug's true owner.

Mr Siregar said Corby's legal team were still working on an extraordinary appeal in a bid to win her freedom.

Bali police burn Corby's marijuana

Bali police have burned the stash of marijuana that sent Schapelle Corby to an Indonesian jail for 20 years.

The drugs were piled up on top of a metal drum in a backyard beside the Denpasar District Court where a distraught Corby was convicted on May 17 last year.

There was little fuss apart from some dizziness among some of the spectators after chief prosecutor I Ketut Arthana, who led the case against the Gold Coast woman, poured petrol on the pile and set it alight.

Watching on were Denpasar Mayor Anak Agung Puspa Yoga and local police chief Hari Dono Sukmanto, as well as a small crowd of journalists, who said they became giddy as pungent smoke wafted over the yard.

Her infamous zip-lock boogie board bag in which the drugs were found by Bali airport customs officers also went up in flames along with the board and even Corby's surf fins.

Other drugs from other criminal cases were also destroyed, including almost 10,000 ecstasy pills, 1.9 kg of heroin and 4.2 grams of hashish, as well as bottles of illegal home-made beer.

Corby, a former student beautician and shop assistant, wasn't there.

She remains locked up in Bali's Kerobokan Prison after the Supreme Court in Jakarta in January rejected her appeal and restated the 20-year term that had been cut by five years by a lower appeal court.

Her legal team has asked the Supreme Court - Indonesia's highest - to review its decision. But granting such a request would be an unusual move and is far from certain.

Corby defence lawyer Erwin Siregar, who watched the burning, said he was concerned the evidence had been destroyed.

"If we find new evidence and then reopen the case, and they want to check, the evidence is no longer there," he said.

Corby's defence rested on claims the cannabis was planted in her bag by mistake by baggage handlers at Australian airports working for drug traffickers.

Siregar said he failed to convince Arthana to delay Friday's bonfire and admitted that there was no obligation to stall the burning, because Corby's legal case had already been completed.

Still, he said, they should have waited in the interests of "finding the truth".

Arthana said the drugs had to be destroyed to prevent the stash being stolen from a police lockup.

"We didn't want to keep it for too long," he said. "Although (the evidence) is secured behind an iron door it is only guarded by one person."

He said 8kg of heroin smuggled by the Bali Nine could not be burned yet because the Australians were still appealing.



Schapelle Corby Case Information

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