NZ drug accused awaits her fate in Bali

Leeza Ormsby.
Leeza Ormsby.
A Kiwi woman detained in Bali after a drug raid is "doing it tough" and is relying on her family to keep her fed, clothed and healthy while she waits for her day in court.

Leeza Tracey Ormsby, 37, was arrested in Bali on February 12 after police found a large quantity of drugs at a villa where she had been staying.

Sydney-based Ormsby went to the villa north of Kuta beach to pick up her laptop and clothing and police were waiting for her.

They found MDMA and methamphetamine at the house and a joint of cannabis in Ormsby's bag.

She has admitted the joint was hers, but denies she had anything to do with the harder drugs.

Speaking publicly for the first time, her mother, Rangi Morrison, told the Herald that Ormsby had been set up. She believed that straight after she bought the cannabis, the seller tipped off police.

"They got her straight away. When she got to the villa, they just swamped her," said Mrs Morrison, who lives in Western Australia.

She has not been able to speak to her daughter since her arrest. Ormsby's siblings have taken turns travelling to Bali to see her at the Denpasar City police station, where she is sharing a tiny cell with another woman. Visits are short and take place only on Wednesdays and Fridays. Ormsby is not allowed to use the phone and her mother has been too ill to make the trip.

"It's terrible ... not being able to talk to her, talk about how she feels," Mrs Morrison said. "It's just cruel."

Ormsby is one of 13 children and along with one of her brothers was adopted out to a family friend at a young age.

Last Christmas was the first time she met all of her siblings and Mrs Morrison said it was a special time.

"They all got on so well ... and then this happened," she said.

"Her brothers and sisters have been to Bali and they take her food and clothes and toiletries. There is only certain stuff she is allowed. They took her a pillow but she wasn't allowed it - they are not allowed to be comfortable there. She was using her water bottle but they took that too. She's doing it hard in there at the moment. It's tough for her."

Mrs Morrison said her daughter was living on simple food such as noodles. She wasn't allowed anything that she could use to hang herself so could not even wear a sarong to help her deal with the heat and humidity in her cell - which is not air conditioned.

Mrs Morrison said the family had been fundraising to get Ormsby an Australian lawyer. Her lawyer in Bali is Ary Soenardi, but the language barrier makes it tough for Ormsby to understand the details of her case.

"The police are trying to put everything on her, but she had nothing to do with those drugs - absolutely nothing. The joint was hers, the rest - no. It was all set up.

"We have got a lawyer from Sydney who is going over there for her court case. That will make it easier for her to understand everything."

Ormsby's health was "okay" but emotionally and mentally she was stressed, her mother said.

"Being in there, you can't concentrate on anything else. She is stressed, but you would be in a situation like that. She is scared ... heck yes. Her brothers and sisters have just told her to try and be strong, to hang in there."

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta was providing consular support and had visited Ormsby in Bali three times.

It's 31C in Bali, it's muggy and sticky and there's not a breeze to speak of.

Leeza Ormsby sits in the heat in a small cell at the Denpasar City police station, as she has done every day since her arrest on February 12, awaiting her fate.

The 37-year-old was arrested after police raided a villa where she had been staying and found a large quantity of drugs.

She is yet to be charged and police are still building their case against her, trying to gather as much evidence as possible that links her to the drugs found at the villa.

Twice already the Bali drug squad have had the file returned to them, with prosecutors saying they need to do more work on it.

It is understood that just days ago, police were given a 30-day extension, prolonging Ormsby's wait in the sweltering, crowded jail even further.

The police station's jail looks forbidding from the street with its high security gates and pacing officers. But inside, it has a much more relaxed feeling - nothing like you would expect in a country renowned for its terror-inducing prison system.

Ormsby is being held in a small cell with one other woman.

With no air conditioning, people in custody at the police station rely on glass-louvred windows as their only source of fresh air.

Ormsby is allowed visitors only on Wednesdays and Fridays.

When the Herald visited, officers on the front desk seemed familiar with Ormsby. They don't get many Kiwis in their cells. "Ah, Leeza, yes," they said, and quickly agreed to allow access to the "prisoner" despite it being a non-visiting day.

We could see her, they said, if she agreed.

Two officers went to her cell, less than 100m away. They returned shaking their heads.

"No, she does not want to see any journalists. It is not the police, though, it is Leeza," one said.

Ormsby's lawyer did not respond to questions about how she is coping in jail.

News.com reported Ormsby was "struggling", that she often banged her head against the wall "in frustration at her situation and the uncertain future she faces".

If convicted, she will be moved to Kerobokan Prison, where Australian inmate Schapelle Corby served her time for smuggling drugs into Bali in a boogie-board bag.

Anna Leask, NZ Herald 

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