Corby photos seized in raid, via The Herald Sun: 10 December 2005

By Keith Moor


Schapelle Corby

Corby ... appealing her conviction for drug possession.


POLICE have seized photographs of Schapelle Corby with a man who has just been charged with marijuana smuggling.

The alleged drug dealer is pictured alone with Corby in some photographs and with Corby and another couple in others.

They were found during a recent police search of the alleged dealer's home in South Australia.

He was the target of a joint SA-Queensland police operation into a hydroponic marijuana smuggling ring allegedly operating between the two states.

The photographs were taken before Corby was charged in October last year with importing 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali in her bodyboard bag.

They were found in a raid that police believe helped bust a marijuana-smuggling ring operating between SA and Queensland.

The man pictured with Corby was recently arrested and charged by SA's drug and organised crime investigation division.

A preliminary examination of the seized photographs has found they appear to be genuine.

The chance discovery of the photos comes as Corby, 28, is preparing to appeal against her drug-smuggling conviction and sentence.

Her lawyers last month lodged her appeal with Indonesia's Supreme Court in Jakarta.

They claim lower-court judges failed to consider evidence that would set Corby free.

But the Balinese prosecution team has said it plans to lodge a counter-appeal, claiming a recent Appeal Court decision to cut five years from the Gold Coast woman's sentence should be reversed and her 20-year jail term reinstated.

Balinese prosecutors are expected to seek access to the photographs seized by police in SA.

They will want them to try to cast doubt on claims by Corby in her trial that she had no connection with drugs or drug dealers.

The Balinese prosecution team is likely to request that police in Australia hand over the photographs and provide evidence about the alleged role in the drug-smuggling operation of the man pictured with Corby.

Corby's team argued somebody planted the marijuana in her bodyboard bag and said corrupt baggage handlers in Australia may have been responsible.

"I have never been involved with drugs," Corby told the Bali court during her trial.

"I don't like drugs. It's not my drugs. I wouldn't even know where to get the drugs from.

"I am not a person involved in drugs and I am not a person who might become involved in drug-smuggling operations."

The three Indonesian judges who jailed Corby for 20 years in May said she was legally and convincingly guilty of attempting to import drugs into Bali.

They said they believed the evidence of two Customs officers and two police officers who were present when Corby was stopped at Denpasar's Ngurah Rai airport on October 8 last year.

The judges said they gave consistent testimony that Corby was nervous when asked to open her unlocked bodyboard bag and actually slapped away an officer's hand as he reached for it.

Their evidence was that Corby said, "No, no I have some", and that she confirmed she owned the items in the bag.

The judges said Corby's witnesses had failed to provide any objective evidence to back her story that the drugs were planted in her unlocked bag.

Members of SA's drug and organised crime investigation branch conducted the operation with Queensland Police that resulted in the Corby photographs being found.

They stopped a car near Burra, SA, in late November.

A search located a large amount of cannabis hidden in the boot.

An SA man in his 40s was arrested for possessing cannabis and has been bailed to appear in court at a date to be arranged.

Several residential and rural properties in SA and Queensland were later raided as a result of the November seizure.

Fifteen kilograms of hydroponically grown cannabis and almost $60,000 in cash were seized in the raids, as were the photos of Corby with the alleged drug smuggler.

A 60-year-old man and a 53-year-old man from SA will face charges of possessing cannabis and taking part in the sale and supply of cannabis.

Five men and two women were arrested in Queensland as part of Operation Co-Pilot.

A spokeswoman for SA police said that investigations into the alleged smuggling ring were continuing and that further arrests were expected.

Corby's father, Michael, was convicted of possessing marijuana in the 1970s.

Half-brother Clinton Rose has faced drug possession charges and spent time in jail for a range of offences, including breaking and entering, theft, fraud and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Michael Corby said in April that his daughter was opposed to drugs.

"She had nothing to do with bloody drugs," he said.

"She might have had a puff when she was in bloody Grade 10 or something, around the back of the schoolyard like kids do I don't know.

"She's had nothing to do with it since, or any time as far as I know."