By Cindy Wockner and Luke McIlveen - May 17, 2005
SCHAPELLE Corby's lawyers have pulled out all stops in one last desperate bid to save her, yesterday giving her judges petitions, character references, letters, media reports and even the police fact sheet from the Sydney Airport cocaine bust.
But Prime Minister John Howard has ruled out any further letters of support from the Australian Government.
Mr Howard last week asked the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to draft a carefully worded letter to the court pointing out details of the case involving baggage handlers running an alleged drug ring at Sydney Airport.
The man bankrolling Corby's defence, Gold Coast businessman Ron Bakir, yesterday called on Mr Howard to add some fresh lines to the letter. "We need the letter to be a bit more tailored, so to speak, towards Schapelle Corby and we'll be asking for specific things," Mr Bakir said.
But The Courier-Mail understands the original letter will not be changed.
It was unclear yesterday what, if any, effect the Government's 11th-hour intervention would have on the Corby case.
Indonesian Parliament Speaker Hidayat Nur Wahid, who is visiting Australia, warned the letter would not have the explosive effect the Corby team had hoped.
"It's OK (but) of course the Indonesian court would never be pressured because of such a letter," Dr Wahid said.
"A letter is a letter. A letter is not evidence, unless the letter came with evidence."
Corby's prosecutor, Ida Bagus Wiswantanu, was also dismissive, saying that under Indonesian law the documents were not legal evidence and could not be used in considering the verdict.
Mr Howard yesterday expressed sympathy for Corby.
Corby will learn on May 27 if she will spend the rest of her life in prison for attempting to import 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali on October 8 last year.
But Mr Howard said his Government was "walking a fine line" between helping Corby and interfering with Indonesian justice.
Mr Howard also refused to defend Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty, who has come under fire for repeatedly questioning Corby's claim that she was set up by baggage handlers.
When asked if Mr Keelty had been too outspoken, Mr Howard said: "All I can say is that I have been very circumspect . . . and I believe everybody in any position of authority in Australia should be circumspect if we are really concerned that this girl will receive a fair trial."
Mr Keelty last week branded Corby's defence "flimsy" and said there was no evidence her bag had been tampered with between Sydney and Denpasar.
Mr Keelty angrily denied yesterday that he had deliberately tried to damage Corby's chance of freedom.
"I don't have a vendetta against Schapelle Corby," he said. "I have not tried to discredit her evidence."
In another development yesterday, Today Tonight revealed that Corby was married to a Japanese man for three months when she was working in Japan serving drinks in nightclubs.