A New Zealander allegedly found with drugs in Bali could face the death penalty if found guilty of trafficking and the Government should get involved, a lawyer who worked on the Schapelle Corby case says.
Police carried out an "ambush" last week and reportedly found MDMA, marijuana and hashish at a villa in North Kuta where Leeza Tracey Ormsby, 37, was staying.
Kerry Smith-Douglas told Radio New Zealand the New Zealand Government needed to get involved, because the maximum penalty for drug offending in Indonesia is death.
Unless a prisoner had $100 a week to pay for the use of a bed, she would be sharing the ground with rats, Smith-Douglas told RNZ.
Australian media were expecting a press conference today, where Ormsby would appear publicly.
The details of the arrest were only made public yesterday and it is not yet clear if she has been charged.
Indonesian police said on Thursday afternoon said they were still investigating the situation.
The Denpasar police chief will hold a press conference tomorrow at 9am Bali time (2pm NZT) to discuss the arrest of Ormsby.
"Police are currently still investigating the origin of the drugs, other person(s) involved, the possibility of the suspect as more than just a user," a police spokesperson said.
Ross Bell, from the New Zealand Drug Foundation, said it was well known that drug laws in south-east Asia were some of the toughest in the world and Indonesian laws were some of the most ''draconian in that region''.
Both cannabis and methamphetamine were classed as Group One drugs in Bali, which meant they were considered highly addictive and therefore dangerous. Possession of a Group One drug in Bali could receive a penalty of life imprisonment. Trafficking a Group One drug could receive the death penalty.
The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was aware of the arrest, a spokesman said.
"The consul from the New Zealand embassy in Jakarta is providing consular support and has visited the New Zealander," he said.
The embassy's role was to monitor her welfare and ensure that she had the same rights as other detainees in Indonesia, he said.
According to a police document seen by Fairfax Media, Ormsby was allegedly found with a joint inside her bag.
When police later searched the villa, they say they found 27 grams of hashish and 132 grams of MDMA. An electric scale, tape and plastic wrappers were also allegedly found at the villa.
A local police source said it was possible she was dealing drugs. "Judging from the evidence, it's possible she’s dealing. If [she's] just a user, why do you need a scale?" the source said.
It is understood Ormsby lives in Paddington, Sydney. According to her lawyer, Ary B Soenardi, she is unemployed and arrived in Bali just a few days before she was arrested on February 12. She was in Bali to visit a friend, he said.
Ormsby, who was born in Rotorua, New Zealand, was arrested at a North Kuta village in Denpasar for possession, Denpasar drug squad chief Agus Tri Waluyo said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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