News World Leeza pleads for leniency on Bali drug charges

Leeza pleads for leniency on Bali drug charges

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A Sydney woman will not fight drug charges, after being caught in Bali with marijuana, likely in the hopes of a swift conclusion to what has already been a long ordeal.

Leeza Ormsby, 37, finally appeared in a Bali court on Monday after being arrested in February at the scene of a drug raid.

She has admitted to being in possession of a joint, but argues she knows nothing about the MDMA and hashish police allegedly seized from the scene.

Ormsby remained in a cramped police cell for months while officers unsuccessfully tried to link her to the other drugs, finally charging her two weeks ago.

The New Zealander arrived at Denpasar District Court on Monday dressed in a long, white cheesecloth shirt, with her fingernails painted blue, shielding her face from the cameras with a fan that said “Paradise”.

Prosecutor Ni Putu Oka Ariani confirmed Ormsby would only be charged with possession of the marijuana joint.

The charges carry penalties of up to 12 years in prison.

She told the court police on February 11 received information about a “drug party” attended by foreigners at a villa north of Kuta.

On February 12, she said, Ormsby was seen entering the villa concerned using a key. A search of her handbag turned up the joint.

“The defendant admitted that the joint was given to her by her friend named Robert, with the intention of using it together,” the prosecutor said.

The chief of the three-judge panel, Parulian Saragih, asked Ormsby whether she understood the charges and through an interpreter, the Rotorua-born woman said she did.

Lawyer Ari Soenardi says his client won’t fight the charges.

“We will try to show the medical examination test results, which state that the defendant is a narcotics user, and hope for leniency later,” he told reporters outside court.

The trial will continue with witness examinations on June 5.

Ormsby will remain in custody in Kerobokan jail, where Australian Schapelle Corby served nine years for smuggling marijuana into Bali.

Corby was released on parole two days before Ormsby was arrested.

Ormsby remained quiet and calm at her court appearance on Monday, in contrast to her state when she was charged two weeks ago.

Then, she cried and called out to reporters: “I want to go home.”

Her Paddington flatmates have told media that Ormsby hadn’t been working before she suddenly left for Bali, but had spoken of feeling stressed.

Bali police at one point were going to ask Interpol to help track down the other foreigners who had been at the party – including two Australian men – but apparently never pursued them.