Corby's brother 'not linked to her case'
January 23, 2006 - 7:41PM

Lawyers for Schapelle Corby's half brother have rejected police allegations linking him to her drug smuggling case.

Queensland police last week tendered in court an affidavit which said they suspected James Kisina, 18, was involved in the attempted smuggling of cannabis into Bali for which Corby is serving 20 years in jail.

Police used the affidavit to successfully oppose bail in Beenleigh Magistrates Court after Kisina was arrested after a violent home invasion at Rochedale, in Brisbane's south.

Kisina and two co-accused were remanded in custody on eight charges including assault, deprivation of liberty and drug production.

Mark Howden dismissed the alleged link between Kisina and his half sister's case.

"There is no link between the cases," Mr Howden, of Howden Saggers Lawyers, said today.

"I can only go on the material I have been given and the material I have been given is not linked, in any way, to his sister."

Corby's Bali lawyer Erwin Siregar plans to travel to Australia within weeks to interview Kisina in an attempt to unearth new facts following lodgement of the affidavit.

But Mr Howden said Corby's lawyers had not contacted him.

"I haven't heard from them and will meet them subject to what my client says," he said.

Mr Howden said a Queensland Supreme Court appeal against the police allegations against Kisina was possible.

"The (affidavit) says he is suspected of some involvement in the exportation of cannabis for which his sister has received a 20-year imprisonment sentence," Mr Howden said.

"This has got nothing to do with the charges currently before the court ... it's inflammatory ... it might be the case he did not receive a fair hearing because of the allegations contained in the affidavit."

Lawyer Stefan Simms, also of Howden Saggers Lawyers, earlier told the Beenleigh Magistrates Court Kisina went to the property because he believed the Rochedale property's occupants were well-known drug dealers who might have information helpful to Corby's bid to have her drug smuggling conviction in Bali quashed.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said allegations against Kisina, who was with Corby when she was arrested at Bali's Denpasar airport with 4.1kg of marijuana in her boogieboard bag in 2004, were "a matter for the Queensland police".


  • Schapelle Corby Homepage

  • Court test for Corby's brother
    By Michael McKenna and Sian Powell - January 23, 2006
    Family troubles ... James Kisina, right, is being investigated.
    POLICE allegations that Schapelle Corby's half-brother was involved in the Bali drug run that put her in jail could be tested in a Queensland court within weeks.

    Lawyers for James Sioeli Kisina, 18, said yesterday they were considering a Supreme Court appeal after the allegations were used by Queensland police to successfully oppose bail after his arrest following a Brisbane home invasion last Tuesday.

    In a sworn affidavit by arresting officer Detective Sergeant Dean Godfrey, Mr Kisina was alleged to have been suspected of involvement in the attempted smuggling of cannabis into Bali for which Corby is serving 20 years' jail.

    "He (Mr Kisina) is suspected of some involvement in the exportation of cannabis for which his sister has received a 20-year imprisonment sentence," Detective Sergeant Godfrey said.

    The affidavit also alleged Mr Kisina had a "propensity to commit offences" and that he suffered from a "lack of parental guidance".

    The affidavit was tendered to the Southern Districts Magistrates Court, near Brisbane, on the same day the Indonesian Supreme Court announced it had reinstated Corby's 20-year sentence after Bali's High Court reduced her jail term to 15 years.

    Over the weekend, Balinese prosecutors initially said the Queensland police affidavit "could be used to reopen the case".

    Corby's youngest sibling, Mr Kisina was just 16 and with his sister when she was caught at Bali's Ngurah Rai airport in October 2004 carrying 4.1kg of cannabis in a bodyboard bag.

    Mr Kisina carried the bag to the Customs desk, but when asked by officials if it was his, Corby interrupted and claimed ownership.

    After two days of interrogation, Balinese police released Mr Kisina after finding no proof of involvement in the crime.

    Mr Kisina's Brisbane solicitor, Mark Howden, said Queensland police had to "put up or shut up" in relation to the allegations of drug-smuggling against his client.

    Mr Howden said it was possible Detective Sergeant Godfrey would be called for cross-examination over his allegations at an appeal for bail, expected within weeks.

    Queensland Police refused to elaborate on the allegations yesterday.

    Mr Kisina and two co-accused - including his cousin Shane John Tilyard, 19 - were remanded in custody on eight charges including assault, deprivation of liberty and drug production.

    They allegedly broke into a house on Brisbane's southside early Tuesday and with iron bars and baseball bats beat the occupants, who are said to be suspected drug dealers, before stealing $100 in cash and marijuana.

    Corby's Bali lawyer Erwin Siregar confirmed yesterday he would be visiting Australia next month to collect new evidence ahead of a planned application for an extraordinary judicial review of the case.

    Mr Siregar said he wanted to explore the allegations against Mr Kisina, the son of Corby's mother, Rosleigh Rose, from a later relationship.

    In Bali yesterday, the prosecutor in the Corby case, Ida Bagus Wiswantanu, appeared to distance himself from his reported comments on Saturday that the affidavit may warrant a reopening in the case.

    AFP checks Corby twist
    By Nick Butterly and Mark Dunn - January 23, 2006

    THE Australian Federal Police is investigating claims Schapelle Corby's half-brother was linked to the drug run that put his sister in a Bali jail.

    Federal agents are talking to Queensland detectives about allegations made against James Sioeli Kisina, 18, an AFP spokeswoman said.

    An affidavit filed by Queensland police last week alleged Mr Kisina was suspected of "some involvement in the exportation of cannabis for which his sister has received a 20-year imprisonment sentence".

    The affidavit was filed as part of a home invasion and drugs case brought against Mr Kisina in a Brisbane court last week.

    Mr Kisina was with Corby when she was arrested in Bali in October 2004 carrying 4.1kg of marijuana in her bodyboard bag.

    He was said to have carried the bag to the Customs desk, but Corby claimed ownership when officers asked if the bag was his.

    Mr Kisina was arrested on Wednesday last week with two other men.

    Police allege the trio broke into a home and attacked a couple with an iron bar.

    They also claim they stole $1000 and cannabis, which they hid at the home of Rosleigh Rose - Schapelle Corby's mother.

    Corby's original 20-year sentence was reimposed by Bali judges soon after news of her half-brother's court appearance broke.

    Her lawyer Erwin Siregar has been reported as saying he intended flying to Australia to interview Mr Kisina as part of another Corby appeal.

    A spokeswoman for federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said on Friday the Government was considering appealing Corby's case to the Indonesian president.

    But Indonesian law expert Tim Lindsey yesterday said Corby had no chance of a presidential pardon and must show new evidence of innocence to get a final chance before the Supreme Court.

    He said the decision to reinstate her 20-year sentence was no surprise.

    "The next step is called a PK, or judicial review, which is an internal review of the cassation (Supreme Court appeal) decision," Prof Lindsey said.

    "One ground for that is new facts or circumstances ... That's quite common in Indonesia. It's almost par for the course in any appeals process."

    Prof Lindsey said the flight by Corby's lawyer, Erwin Siregar, to Queensland to interview her recently arrested half-brother might produce new evidence.

    But he said Corby had virtually no hope asking for a pardon from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - the last appeal possible.

    "To obtain clemency you have to admit the crime. She's not going to do that until she has exhausted the appeals.

    "The President has clearly said in public he would not exercise his clemency powers for convicted drug offenders.

    "Indonesia is in the middle of a war against drugs."

    Corby's lawyer vows to fight on
    Schapelle Corby's Bali lawyer plans to launch an unprecedented bid to reopen her case based on new evidence.

    Erwin Siregar plans to travel to Australia within weeks on a mission to unearth new facts, saying he and Corby were not giving up hope that she could be freed.

    Siregar said he would prepare an "extraordinary appeal" for Corby after Indonesia's Supreme Court rejected what should have been her final appeal against her drug smuggling conviction.

    The court yesterday confirmed it had reinstated the original 20-year jail term handed to Corby, reversing a lower appeals court decision last year to reduce it to 15 years.

    However, other lawyers in Bali said "no law book in Indonesia" contained a legal manoeuvre like the one planned by Siregar.

    He and Corby's family today visited the 28-year-old Gold Coast woman inside Bali's Kerobokan prison.

    Siregar said Corby was angry and sobbing, but had not lost hope.

    "It's not over," Siregar quoted Corby as saying.

    "She still says to me that she is not guilty" because she did not know 4.1kg of marijuana had been planted in her bodyboard bag, he said.

    It is understood Corby was shattered to hear the half-brother who was with her at Bali airport when she was arrested was facing drug and assault charges stemming from a violent home invasion in Queensland.

    James Kisina, 18, faced a court south of Brisbane yesterday, his lawyer saying Kisina had broken into the home because he'd learned its occupants were allegedly drug dealers and could have information helpful to Corby's bid for freedom.

    The lawyer also told the court Kisina would vigorously defend police allegations, made in an affidavit, that he was involved in exporting cannabis.

    Siregar said Corby would not seek a presidential pardon, which are rarely granted anyway, because to do so she would have to admit guilt.

    The legal team is also not interested in asking the supreme court to conduct a judicial review of the case, another avenue that rarely leads to freedom.

    Instead, Siregar wants the case reopened by the supreme court and plans to launch his new legal bid within two to six weeks.

    He said he would interview Corby's Bali-based sister Mercedes Corby and other family members in his search for new evidence.

    However, one prominent Bali defence lawyer cast doubt on the viability of trying to resurrect the case after her latest appeal was thrown out by the highest court in the land.

    "It is not in any law book in Indonesia. There is no legal avenue for it," said Wirawan Adnan, who defended some of the 2002 Bali bombers now on death row in the same prison as Corby.

    "But sometimes the impossible can happen."

    However, Wiswantanu Ida Bagus, the prosecutor in Corby's trial last year said: "It is not possible to reopen the case".

    The trial's presiding judge Lindon Sirait, who handed Corby her original 20-year sentence, said the supreme court's decision had vindicated him.

    "It's good that they upheld my verdict and sentence," he said. "It means I was correct from the start."

    Sirait also doubted Corby had any realistic legal avenues to pursue.

    But Corby's mother Rosleigh Rose and father Michael Corby remain hopeful.

    They visited their imprisoned daughter today, taking with them her half-sister Melanie and a bunch of flowers.

    Rose declined to speak to reporters saying she was with the Nine Network's A Current Affair program.

    Michael Corby described Schapelle as "a strong girl" who was trying to cope.

    "She is just a poor bloody kid who is innocent," he said.

    "There are other avenues. I don't know what other avenues there are, but there must be."

    He said news of the appeal's failure had devastated his daughter, but not Prime Minister John Howard, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer or Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty. "They got what they wanted," he said.

    In Canberra, Mr Howard declined to comment on the reinstatement of Corby's sentence saying: "I am not going to place myself above the Indonesian judiciary. That is a matter for the Indonesian court."

    Indonesia's Foreign Ministry said the case would not affect diplomatic relations between Jakarta and Canberra.

    Spokesman Yuri Thamrin said the question of a pardon for Corby would be solely at the discretion of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has launched tough anti-drugs policies since taking office in 2004.

    Thamrin doubted Corby would get "special treatment" from the head of state.

    A spokesman for the Indonesian Attorney-General's Office, Masyhudi Ridwan, said that if Corby did try to seek clemency she would first have to "ask for forgiveness".

    Corby's Jakarta lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea has threatened to quit the case saying it is now "in ruins".

    However, Siregar promised to go on "with this case until we die".

    "I still believe that my client is innocent," he said.

    He said now that the appeal decision had been handed down, Corby was eligible for small sentence reductions routinely granted to prisoners in Indonesia.

    The next round of prisoner remissions will be in August for Indonesia's Independence Day.

    In Brisbane, Robin Tampoe, a lawyer who once acted for Corby said she now needed a legal miracle.

    "Unless something absolutely extraordinary happened now that maybe would create the ability to reopen the trial or have a new trial allocated, she's going to sit there for quite a while to come," Tampoe told ABC Radio.

    Corby hope

    THE prosecutor in Schapelle Corby's Bali trial yesterday revealed he could reopen her case after her half-brother was linked to her cannabis-laden bodyboard bag.

    Ida Bagus Wiswantanu said a police affidavit lodged in court by Queensland police might be the key to open a new trial for Corby, 28, in Denpasar District Court.

    This week Indonesia's Supreme Court upheld the original District Court sentence of 20 years, which had earlier been cut to 15 on appeal.

    On Friday, Mr Wiswantanu thought it impossible for Corby's lawyers to have the case reopened as all the evidence pointed to her having smuggled the marijuana into Bali in a bodyboard bag.

    But yesterday, told of the statement, Mr Wiswantanu said: "The affidavit could be used to reopen the case."

    Corby's half-brother, James Kisina, carried the bodyboard bag to Customs at the Bali airport. When asked if the bag was his, Corby interrupted and claimed ownership.

    After the drugs were discovered, Mr Kisina was interrogated by Balinese police, but later released.

    Mr Kisina faces eight charges arising from a home invasion and bashing at a known Brisbane suburban drug haunt this week.

    In Beenleigh Magistrates' Court on Thursday, Mr Kisina, 18, was remanded in custody to face counts including deprivation of liberty, assault occasioning bodily harm and possession and production of a dangerous drug.

    Mr Kisina said he had raided the home with two others to try to get information to help free Corby.

    Corby's defence lawyer, Erwin Siregar, will fly to Australia to try to gain evidence for a new trial.

    He said Corby was adamant her brother had not been involved in taking drugs to Bali.

    Mr Siregar said he would talk to Mr Kisina and to police about the case against Corby's brother.

    The talks could form the basis of an "extraordinary appeal" for Corby, an unusual legal avenue in Indonesia, but not one without precedent.

    Other Indonesian lawyers have claimed the only avenues left to Corby are a judicial review or a presidential pardon, which requires an admission of guilt – something Corby has said she will not do.

    Veiled police hints and the wording of the affidavit that Mr Kisina is linked to drug exportation – and to his half-sister's conviction – have infuriated Mr Kisina's lawyer.

    Solicitor Mark Howden yesterday demanded police "put up or shut up".

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