Ormsby left waiting as police investigate

Last updated 11:03 22/02/2014
Leeza Tracey Ormsby

DEEP TROUBLE: Leeza Tracey Ormsby.

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Indonesian police are continuing their search for people they believe were involved in the Bali drug scandal that landed Kiwi Leeza Ormsby in jail on Wednesday.

Leeza Tracey Ormsby, 37, told police there had been a party at the villa in the days before her arrest, but her five friends had since left Bali.

It was understood police were trying to identify three men and two women thought to be involved, TV3 reported this morning.

Australian media reported yesterday's press conference - in which police were expected to parade Ormsby - was postponed and may happen today.

Ormsby, also known as Leeza Morrison, was arrested at Askara Villa in North Kuta.

Police said the woman, who was born in Rotorua and lives in Sydney, had marijuana on her.

Police said they raided another villa nearby where they found 132 grams of ecstasy and 27 grams of hashish, along with an electric scale, tape and plastic wrappers.

A close family member living in Western Australia told Fairfax Media he didn't want to comment on Ormsby's situation.

"No I can't at this stage. As a family we're going to get together and decide what we're going to say and who we're going to say it to. Sorry about that."

About six officers, apparently acting on a tipoff, approached Ormsby as she went to enter the villa where the drugs were found. A Kuta resort worker said she had a key.

It had been rented for three nights by an Australian man known only as Azaria, and he and his girlfriend flew home the night before the raid, Australian newspaper the Herald Sun reported.

The villa's supervisor, Gede Wijaya, was on duty at the time of the raid and police asked him to witness the search.

He said the woman wept during the raid and repeatedly told police: "I don't know".

When police found what looked like hashish in Ormsby's handbag, and asked her what it was, she replied: "I don't know, I don't know," Wijaya told the Sun.

Throughout the discovery of the drugs Ormsby maintained her ignorance.

She appeared to be crying, Wijaya said.

Ormsby was arrested but has not yet been charged.

Wijaya said he was unsure if there was a party at the villa the night before Ormsby's arrest but said "several friends" had visited the Australian man in the hours before his departure.

According to her lawyer, Ary B Soenardi, Ormsby was unemployed and arrived in Bali to visit a friend just a few days before she was arrested.

Ormsby denied any wrongdoing, Soenardi said.

"Definitely she's not admitting it because she didn't feel she did it."

His client was "a little bit stressed and disturbed," particularly since hearing the media was reporting her predicament, he said.

When he visited on Tuesday, he took her books on how to speak basic Indonesian.

"At that time, she was in a cell with a group of four women prisoners," Soenardi said.

"She sleeps on a mat."

Soenardi said the woman's family was in New Zealand, but she had seen one visitor.

Ormsby had gone to Bali alone as a backpacker, he said.

One of her flatmates in Sydney, James, said Ormsby had stopped going to her job as a shop assistant.

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"She said she was stressed and needed to get away from everything - life was getting too much," he told the Australian magazine Woman's Day.

Ormsby had told few people about her trip to Bali, leaving her flatmates a note to say she would be back in seven days and part of her rent, the magazine reported.

Denpasar drug squad chief Agus Tri Waluyo said police received information there would be drugs at a party in the villa.

"We made the ambush on Wednesday around 8am," he said.

"In that location, we found the evidence."

According to a statement given to investigators, Ormsby admitted that, some days before the raid, a drugs party had taken place with five of her friends, who had then returned to their home countries.

Ormsby was born in Rotorua to father Mike Ormsby and mother Rangi Morrison. It's understood her adoptive parents also had the surname Ormsby.

Ormsby and her brother, Michael, were raised in Australia. Their mother is believed to be living south of Perth and works in the shearing industry.

Steven Morrison, who described himself as a "blood relative", said the first anyone in her New Zealand-based family knew of her arrest was when they heard about it through media.

Indonesia is renowned for its heavy penalties for drug use. If Ormsby is charged with possession, she could face a jail term of up to 20 years, but if she is charged with trafficking she could face the death penalty.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said its consul from the embassy in Jakarta was providing consular advice and support and has visited Ormsby in Bali.

It said it could not comment on the police investigation or "interfere in the judicial proceedings of another country".

The embassy's role was to monitor Ormsby's welfare and ensure that she had the same rights as other detainees in Indonesia.

- Stuff

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