New book: Corby took the fall for her father

By Kathy Marks

Schapelle Corby, shocked at her 20-year sentence for drug smuggling, has always maintained her innocence. Photo / Getty Images
Schapelle Corby, shocked at her 20-year sentence for drug smuggling, has always maintained her innocence. Photo / Getty Images

Schapelle Corby, whose drug trafficking trial transfixed and divided Australians, was carrying drugs to Bali for her father, according to a new book.

Sins of the Father, by Eamonn Duff, claims Michael Corby was part of a syndicate smuggling hydroponically grown marijuana from Australia to the Indonesian tourist island.

It says Schapelle, who is serving a 20-year sentence after 4.1kg of the drug was found in her boogie board bag at Bali's Denpasar Airport in 2004, willingly took the fall for her father.

Duff, a journalist with Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper, quotes Malcolm McCauley, a convicted drug trafficker, as saying he had a long-standing arrangement to deliver marijuana from South Australia to Michael Corby's home on Queensland's Gold Coast. Corby - who died of cancer in 2008 - would then send it on a flight to Bali, where corrupt airport officials would pocket a A$1000 ($1302) bribe placed inside.

Schapelle has always maintained her innocence, claiming the drugs were planted by Australian baggage handlers. Before her father died, he admitted being convicted of marijuana possession in the 1970s and said he had faced "half a dozen" drink-driving charges, adding: "Who hasn't?"

Schapelle's half-brother, James Kisina, who accompanied her on the trip to Bali, was jailed for four years in 2006 for his part in a burglary in Brisbane during which money and drugs were stolen and a couple were attacked with an iron bar.

Two old friends of Michael Corby told Duff he began growing and selling marijuana in his mid-20s.

Duff said yesterday it was not clear whether Schapelle knew the drugs were in her bag. However, he added: "I think it's fair to say that she was well aware that her father was entrenched in the marijuana game for three decades."

Duff believes Schapelle's affection for her father - who always denied knowledge of the drugs - prevented her from revealing the true story.

"This is a very, very close family and they're a very close father-daughter relationship," he said.

McCauley, who served 15 months in jail for running drugs, visited Schapelle in prison soon after she was arrested.

The purser on Schapelle's Qantas flight, Gail Burgess, told Duff she was "aggressive and loud". The crew stopped serving her drinks after passengers complained. Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time of her arrest, says Australian Federal Police told him they believed Schapelle was guilty.

- NZ Herald

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