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Qantas employees to testify for Corby
Two Qantas employees have arrived in Bali to testify at Schapelle Corby's reopened trial on Wednesday, as she attempts to overturn a 20-year jail term for drug smuggling.

On hearing's eve, her Indonesian legal team and the Australian government remain at loggerheads over what assistance Canberra is providing her case.

The former Gold Coast student beautician was convicted on May 27.

But in a surprise move last month, the Bali High Court decided to reopen her hearing to take new evidence.

The new evidence was meant to be heard last week.

But Corby's lawyers had proceedings postponed to give them more time to gather new witnesses to back her claims that someone else stashed 4.1kg of marijuana in her luggage after she had checked in at Brisbane airport for a flight via Sydney to Bali last October.

Corby's celebrity lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea said he would not release the names of the Qantas check-in officer and a baggage handler until they appeared in the Denpasar District Court.

But he said their testimony would "increase reasonable doubt" surrounding her case and establish "that there was nothing suspicious when Corby checked in".

Her legal team, particularly Mr Hutapea, has criticised the Australian government over what assistance it is providing Corby and has hit back at claims that it has not provided Canberra with enough information.

"If they say we have not done anything, that's bullshit," Mr Hutapea said in Bali, showing reporters a stack of letters he had sent to Australian authorities.

An offer of a meeting with Justice Minister Chris Ellison, who is travelling to Indonesia, was rebuffed because Mr Hutapea was interviewing last minute witnesses, including the Qantas employees.

"I think it is unfortunate that he's adopted that attitude," Senator Ellison told reporters before leaving for Indonesia.

Senator Ellison made a last-ditch offer on Tuesday morning to talk with Mr Hutapea, who on Monday launched a broadside at the government over its actions in the Corby case.

Another lawyer on the Corby case indicated that while they were keen to talk to Senator Ellison, he should make the effort to travel from Jakarta to Bali to see them.

"We really want to meet with Mr Chris Ellison tonight. He can come to Bali," Erwin Siregar told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

"The problem is we have to prepare our defence for Schapelle."

Mr Siregar said Mr Hutapea was always willing to take a phone call from the minister, but he had never been in contact.

"If Mr Ellison call Mr Hotman now, I guarantee Mr Hotman will pick up the phone," he said.

The government has offered to arrange video-link facilities in Australia so a new witness, a Victorian prisoner known only as Paul, can testify at the hearing.

But it has been frustrated because the Corby legal team has not indicated whether the arrangements needed to be made.

Paul allegedly fingered a drug king pin who he said was angry that 4.1 kg of marijuana he claimed belonged to him ended up in Bali after a bungled attempt to smuggle it from Brisbane to Sydney in Corby's luggage.

"We do need to know whether he's applied for permission from the court for teleconferencing," Senator Ellison told reporters.

"Now that is crucial and that's something were pursuing Mr Hutapea on, but unfortunately he's not responded to our requests and we'll continue to offer assistance, but there's only so much we can do."

Corby's defence may apply for another extension of the proceedings on Wednesday to arrange for Paul's evidence to be heard.

2005 AAP

Click Here for Schapelle Corby Case Information

Corby lawyers seek minister meeting
Corby lawyers seek minister meeting

August 2, 2005

SCHAPELLE Corby's legal team has suggested Justice Minister Chris Ellison make a detour to Bali during his trip to Indonesia to meet her lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea.

Senator Ellison, who is travelling to Jakarta, made an offer to meet Mr Hutapea which was rebuffed because the lawyer said he was too busy.

The minister is also willing to speak to Mr Hutapea over the phone.

Corby is due in court tomorrow for a resumption of her appeal against her 20-year jail term for drug smuggling.

Mr Hutapea has repeatedly complained that the Australian Government is not helping Corby enough ahead of a new court appearance tomorrow billed as her best shot at freedom.

Another of Corby's lawyers, Erwin Siregar, said the legal team were keen to meet the minister but would be busy interviewing Qantas baggage handlers.

"We really want to meet with Mr Chris Ellison tonight, he can come to Bali," Mr Siregar told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

"The problem is we have to prepare our defence for Schapelle."

Mr Siregar said Mr Hutapea was always willing to take a phone call from the minister but he had never been in contact.

"He never got telephone call from Mr Chris Ellison, he never get letter to say that they have to meet with Mr Ellison in Jakarta," he said.

"If Mr Ellison call Mr Hotman now, I guarantee Mr Hotman will pick up the phone."

AAP

Hopes dashed in new Corby fiasco
By CINDY WOCKNER in Bali and NICOLETTE BURKE
Keeping the faith . . . Corby, who has turned to God, fills the time by weaving mats in her prison cell.

A BREAKDOWN in communications between Schapelle Corby's legal team and the Federal Government has plunged her hopes of freedom back into doubt.

Corby's legal chief Hotman Paris Hutapea yesterday dismissed the last-minute efforts of Justice Minister Chris Ellison, who is jetting in to Jakarta to offer assistance.

"I won't be there," Mr Hutapea said. "I'll be in Bali preparing for the trial."

The trial is due to be re-opened on Wednesday but the defence case has already been rocked by a failure to secure new witnesses.

Of more than a dozen named earlier by Mr Hutapea, only two will appear.

Bali's drug squad chief Lieutenant-Colonel Bambang Sugiarto has not committed to attending.

Australian Federal Police chief Mick Keelty has refused, saying he has nothing new to offer.

A Victorian prisoner who claims he overheard fellow inmates saying who owned the drugs effectively clearing Corby has offered to give evidence, but only by video from Australia and if he receives immunity.

However, immunity talks have stalled and he will not be giving evidence.

Two other new witnesses Qantas baggage handlers who checked in Corby's bags at Brisbane airport last October are due to arrive in Bali today.

They're expected to say there was nothing suspicious about Corby's behaviour, luggage or travel companions.

Senator Ellison is due to arrive in Jakarta tomorrow night, saying he hopes to hold talks with Corby's legal team and fast-track any assistance.

Mr Hutapea yesterday said he would have left for Bali by then and derided Senator Ellison's effort as a cynical political ploy.

"He knows I will be in Bali preparing for the trial, not in Jakarta. He should come to see me. He knows we are in Bali," he said. "Maybe is he coming to pretend to do something, to show to the public they are trying to do something.

"He himself can't help in his own country, he himself can't do anything in Australia so maybe he is coming just to pretend he is doing something."

Meanwhile, Senator Ellison said he had repeatedly requested "urgent advice" on the state of the case.

The last communication was an e-mail copied to an Federal Government official last Thursday.

"It has been frustrating, in the sense that we don't want to be rushing around at the 11th hour," Senator Ellison conceded.

"Leaving it to the last minute makes it more difficult to render the assistance we've offered."

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