Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Un-bloody believable

Mercedes Corby used drugs, court told

Jodie Power has told a defamation jury she took drugs with former friend Mercedes Corby and photographed her with a "penis pipe" smoking marijuana.

Giving evidence on Wednesday in the NSW Supreme Court on behalf of the Seven Network, Ms Power said she had seen the sister of Schapelle Corby use the drugs marijuana, speed and shabu - a type of methamphetamine.


The Sydney jury was shown two photos she took in Bali in 1998 of Mercedes Corby with a pipe, shaped like a penis, which Ms Power said was used to smoke marijuana.

Ms Power said one was taken after Ms Corby had "just had a puff", while the other showed her with the pipe in her mouth and "lighting it".

The Seven Network's QC, Tom Hughes, said the evidence would show Ms Corby had used various drugs, sold marijuana, supplied other substances and lied to the public about the Corby family's involvement in the "vile" drug trade.

Ms Power's evidence was interrupted at one stage by a woman in the public gallery shouting support for Schapelle Corby, who is serving 20 years in a Bali prison for smuggling cannabis into Indonesia in 2004.

The woman, with long grey hair and wearing a long purple dress, launched a tirade about Corby's incarceration before being removed from the courtroom.

Mercedes Corby has taken defamation action over a Seven news bulletin and three items broadcast on its Today Tonight program to millions of viewers in February last year.

She is suing Channel Seven Sydney Pty Limited, Seven Network Limited and Australian News Channel Pty Limited, which aired the shows on Sky TV.

Ms Corby is also suing Today Tonight's presenter Anna Coren, its reporter Bryan Seymour and Ms Power.

Her QC, Stuart Littlemore, has told the jury Ms Power was motivated by "money, hatred and celebrity" to tell lies on the programs and to say that Mercedes Corby, her former best friend, was a drug smuggler.

But Mr Hughes said Seven will call evidence to show Ms Corby had used marijuana, speed, shabu and ecstasy, as well as supplying the first three drugs.

He also said Ms Corby had lied to the public when she denied that she and her family had no involvement with drugs.

"Not only was she, Mercedes Corby, involved in this vile trade - and it is vile - but also her brother Michael Corby," he said.

Ms Power, 35, told the jury she met Mercedes Corby on the Gold Coast in March 1992.

She said they had smoked marijuana, which she usually purchased from Michael Corby.

She said Ms Corby gave her a substance in Bali which she said was shabu and which "was really good, you can f*** all day".

Ms Power then revealed she had "sex all day" with her partner after taking the drug.

Her evidence was interrupted by the woman in the public gallery who shouted: "Why isn't Schapelle Corby freed? She has suffered enormously for three years in hell.

"You make me sick to the core of my Christian soul," she said, addressing the court.

Justice Carolyn Simpson sent the jury away as the woman continued shouting, before security escorted her away.

Ms Power will continue her evidence on Friday.