By CINDY WOCKNER in Denpasar
SCHAPELLE Corby's family has met two Australian barristers who have joined forces to assist her Indonesian legal team prepare its appeal against her 20- year sentence for drug smuggling.
After the meeting, in Bali, Corby's sister Mercedes said she and the family felt "much better about everything".
"We feel reassured," Ms Corby said after discussing her sister's case with Mark Trowell, QC, and Phillip Laskaris. Also present were Corby's father Michael and Mercedes' Balinese husband Wayan Widiartha.
The meeting helped dispel suggestions of rifts between the Indonesian legal team and the Perth barristers who were asked by the Australian Government to help with the appeal to the Denpasar High Court.
Mr Trowell and Mr Laskaris plan to meet Corby today at Kerobokan Jail where she is being held. They said the Corby family was devastated about the extent of anti-Indonesian sentiment which has been displayed in Australia since the guilty finding and realised it was not helpful to Corby's case.
"It certainly doesn't
reflect the views of Mercedes and her father who have just made that very clear to us," Mr Laskaris said.
Mr Trowell said he wanted to reassure Indonesians that the anti-Indonesian comments emanating from Australia did not necessarily represent the view of the general community.
"The Indonesian system is a different system to an Australian system but that doesn't mean it's inferior. It's not inferior, it's just different," Mr Trowell said.
Mr Trowell said while there had been initial misunderstandings between the Australian and Indonesian lawyers, the working relationship was positive and they were all working as a team.
A senior criminal advocate from Jakarta will also be enlisted to assist with drafting the appeal, which is unlikely to involve oral hearings but to be done via written submissions.
Mr Trowell said he and fellow Perth QC Tom Percy had been requested by Australian Government ministers, including Chris Ellison and Phillip Ruddock, to assist with the appeal. He said none of the Australian QCs was being paid for their services.
"Essentially we are Australians and when the Australian Government asks you to assist, you do. The fact is she is an Australian national in trouble overseas, the consequences are extremely serious," he said.
Mr Trowell said when he returned home he would be talking with Mr Ellison about a "shopping list" of requests for help from the Indonesian legal team.
"We're not quite sure what's on the shopping list but I understand there are aspects of the case that require perhaps a little bit of investigation or require some scrutiny of the evidence that was presented or not presented at the trial.
"I think realistically there may be some limitations as to how far the Australian Government can go but I know from speaking to ministers Ruddock and also to the Foreign Minister Downer and Minister Ellison that they are very keen to help," he said.
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