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Smoke over the water

Smoke over the water

Just when Folklaw thought the endlessly cliff-hanging Schapelle Corby saga couldn’t get any more tabloid, her red-eyed former lawyer turns up on Channel Nine announcing Corby will celebrate her expected release from her Indonesian captivity by smoking “a big marijuana joint”.

Just when Folklaw thought the endlessly cliff-hanging Schapelle Corby saga couldn’t get any more tabloid, her red-eyed former lawyer turns up on Channel Nine announcing Corby will celebrate her expected release from her Indonesian captivity by smoking “a big marijuana joint”.

Although Kerry Smith-Douglas later told Fairfax Radio that her Channel Nine comments had been a “joke”, it appears not everyone is laughing – at least not in front of the cameras.

It all started when Smith-Douglas, asked on yesterday’s (7 February) Today show how Corby would celebrate her freedom, replied: “She’ll probably pop a cork of champagne and then roll up a big marijuana joint the size of a cigar and then kick back and enjoy herself.”

When Today host Karl Stefanovic asked Smith-Douglas whether she in fact had been smoking something before coming on the show, the lawyer laughed and admitted that her eyes were red.

Corby’s initial 20-year sentence in 2005 for marijuana smuggling is predicted to end in parole any time now – and her ex-lawyer’s joke seemed to deeply concern Today’s Karl Stefanovic, who ended the show publicly voicing the hope that it would not prejudice Corby’s chances of release.   

Later in the day, Smith-Douglas was asked by radio station 3AW if she was serious. She replied: “No. It was a joke. Don’t you have a sense of humour? Get a life. Loosen up. Enjoy a joke. If the Indonesians can’t take a joke, then that’s their problem.”

If, as expected, Corby is allowed to leave prison, Folklaw anticipates a whole rich vein of remunerative legal work could be mined by an enterprising Australian law firm in coming years from our Corby.

If, for example, a certain TV station and a women’s magazine cannot bear to have Corby beyond their quivering embrace for a full three years and offer her an all-expenses-paid, no-questions asked trip to Australia in a traditional Indonesian boat, Corby will definitely require legal counsel in order to respond appropriately to the offer.

If, nevertheless, she accepts the ride and the Abbott/Morrison government decides to turn back the boat, Corby would be well advised to seek further legal advice touching on her position under international law. And, of course, when she finally reaches these shores and writes the inevitable, ghost-written tell-all memoir (My nine years of hell, with Channel Nine), she will probably need a whole phalanx of lawyers to handle the fallout.

But Folklaw has not forgotten Kerry Smith-Douglas. We do hope that when Corby is back on our shores she and Smith-Douglas can still sit down together, pop a cork of champagne, have a good laugh – and then turn over a new leaf.

Well, perhaps not a leaf…

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Smoke over the water
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