Cindy Wockner -
January 03, 2007 -
Article from: The Courier-Mail
BALI'S Kerobokan Jail now has its 11th Australian inmate – Melbourne woman Michelle Condon, who faces a maximum five years' jail for drug possession.
The 35-year-old's case was yesterday handed to prosecutors and a court date will be set shortly.
It is understood that Condon is not housed in the same cells as the other two Australian females in Kerobokan – Schapelle Corby and Renae Lawrence.
Condon, from Port Melbourne, was arrested in Bali in late November in possession of 0.2 grams of methamphetamine, known locally as shabu-shabu.
Until this week she was held in the police cells at Denpasar's Polda police headquarters but has since been moved to the jail as her case progresses to court.
Condon was holidaying in Bali at the time and has told police she bought the drugs for personal use from a local for 200,000 rupiah or about $30.
Court documents reveal that she faces two charges – a primary charge of owning, keeping or possessing drugs under article 62 of Indonesia's psikotropika drug laws which carries a maximum sentence of five years' jail.
Condon also faces a secondary charge, under article 60, which deals with narcotic addicts and users receiving psikotropika drugs where the maximum penalty is three years. But for those who can prove that they are addicts and the drugs were for personal use the maximum sentence is three months' jail.
Condon has already told police, during interrogations, that the drugs were for her own use and it is understood she will present medical evidence to the court to show she is a user.
This is similar to the defence of Australian model Michelle Leslie, who was caught in Bali with two ecstasy tablets and claimed she was an addict - earning a three month jail term.
Condon's move to Kerobokan Jail comes as authorities plan to move its most high-profile inmate, Schapelle Corby, to a women's prison in the town of Malang in East Java.
Authorities already have the letter authorising the move but say they currently have no money to action the plan - which involves flying her and several guards from Bali to Surabaya then driving the remaining hour to Malang.
The move is being resisted by Corby, her family and consular officials because the 29-year-old's support base, including her sister Mercedes, is in Bali.
However jail officials say the move is necessary to ease overcrowding in Bali, where the jail was never designed for women or drug prisoners.