Leeza Ormsby charged over Bali drug offences

MICHAEL BACHELARD - INDONESIA CORRESPONDENT
Last updated 17:08 13/05/2014
Leeza Tracey Ormsby

IN JAIL: Leeza Tracey Ormsby.

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Leeza Ormsby has been charged with drug possession, three months after her arrest in Bali.

The New Zealand-born Sydney resident was ambushed by police on February 12 as she entered a villa in which 132.2 grams of MDMA and 26.06 grams of hashish were found in a locked drawer. The find potentially exposed her to a decades-long jail sentence, or even death by firing squad, under Indonesia's tough drug laws.

While the possession charge still carries up to 12 years in prison, she is likely to be sent home in months given the tiny amount of hashish found in her bag.

Ormsby was caught after police received a tip-off. She was entering the villa using keys which also opened the drawer containing the drugs.

The Australian man, Sydney rock band frontman Azaria Byrne, who had rented the villa, had left Bali for Sydney the night before. Ormsby's ex-boyfriend, Sydney DJ Marco Mazzucco, aka Marcotix was also in Bali at the time and gave Ormsby the keys. He was questioned by police after voluntarily going to the police station, but denied any involvement and was allowed to go.

One other mystery man, also a foreigner, was also seen in a police car outside the villa during the search.

Bali police confirmed today that, after three months they had completed their investigation and handed the dossier to prosecutors, who said Ormsby would only be indicted for possession of 0.3g of hashish.

"Today's evidence against her is only of the hashish found in her bag," prosecutor Oka Ariani Adikarini said.

"The evidence submitted by the police today was the hashish, the purse and the keys to the villa. The rest of the drugs are still being investigated by the police. At the moment it will not be part of the evidence we use against her, it's separate."

Ormsby's lawyer, Ary Soenardi, said he would only prepare his defence based on the evidence involving the joint, which was half-smoked.

"She didn't buy the joint, it was given to her by somebody she met at the beach the day before her arrest. She can't remember if she smoked it or not ... and she can't remember who the person was. It was another foreigner."

Ary said his client had admitted that, in Australia, she had had a drug problem.

Indonesian courts are usually more lenient with  offenders who admit to being addicts.

Ormsby, who has avoided media questions since her arrest, said insisted from the police cells that she had told the truth.

She was crying in her holding cell because cameramen continued to film her even after she covered her face with a scarf and faced the wall.

"She's crying, yeah, maybe from stress because she has to go to the cells," Ary said.

"She said that she's glad there's progress in her case. ... I hope the verdict will be the best and reasonable."

Ormsby has been held in a Bali police cell without charge since February 12, two days after Schapelle Corby was released on parole for drugs charges.

It's expected Ormsby will be taken to Kerobokan Prison later today.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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