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Downer plays down Corby death call

June 05, 2005 10:45am

Article from: AAP

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A PROTEST in Jakarta during which about 40 people demanded the death sentence for convicted Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby would have no impact on her appeal, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said today.

The protesters gathered outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta yesterday, carrying signs reading: "Corby, drug dealer, must die." Another placard read: "Intervention no! Australia is supplier of drugs."

Mr Downer said he did not think the protest would have any implications on Corby's appeal.

"It's an endeavour by some people, I don't know who they are, to try to put a counter view to the view that's been expressed very strongly in Australia," he said on Channel 9.

"But I wouldn't draw any conclusions from it one way or the other, I don't think it will have any impact."

Mr Downer also said a package containing white powder sent to Parliament House and a package that sparked a major terror scare at the Indonesian embassy last week could be linked to the Corby case.

He said commonsense pointed to a connection between the two packages and anger over Corby's 20-year jail term for drug smuggling in Bali.

Asked if there was a connection between the two packages of white powder and Corby, Mr Downer said: "There could be, yes, there could be.

"I'm not 100 per cent sure, of course, as is the case with the package that was sent to the Indonesian embassy.

"But the two packages could be connected with each other, and they could be connected with the Corby case.

"Commonsense leads you to conclude that these incidents are connected with that case."

Indonesia's Canberra embassy was locked down on Wednesday following the delivery of a threatening letter containing white powder, while a package containing white powder addressed to Mr Downer forced officials to isolate mail room staff at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday.

Mr Downer said police had some indication about where the package sent to him had come from, but he wouldn't elaborate.

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