Australian woman smuggles marijuana into Bali

An Indonesian high court on Wednesday slashed five years off the sentence of convicted Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby, requiring her to serve 15 years for allegedly smuggling marijuana into Bali, her attorney said.

Officials at Bali's high court refused to comment, saying a ruling will be issued Friday.

Corby's lawyer, Hotman Paris, said he learned about the ruling Wednesday and was mulling over whether to appeal. The attorney had earlier fought for a new trial and the 28-year-old has long insisted she was framed.

"Her sentence has been reduced by five years to 15 years, but that is still inhuman," Paris said. "This is only marijuana, not heroin. If the prosecutor appeals this case, then I will also appeal. I also will talk about the verdict with Corby."

Corby was sentenced to 20 years in prison in May for smuggling 4.2 kilograms (9 pounds) of marijuana onto the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Her defense team claims she was probably a victim of a domestic drug ring involving corrupt Australian baggage handlers who failed to retrieve the planted marijuana before her bags were transferred to an international flight.

Dozens of foreigners are imprisoned for drug smuggling every year in Indonesia, but Corby's case sparked public outrage in Australia, where many people believe she is innocent. Authorities have linked several terror alerts to the case, including a scare involving fake anthrax at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra last month.

The Australian government has sent two senior lawyers to help Corby's appeal, and has said it wants to negotiate with Jakarta on a prisoner transfer agreement that may allow Corby to serve her sentence at home, reports the AP. I.L.

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