Australian Spared Death in Indonesian Drug Case

An Australian woman was convicted in Indonesia Friday of smuggling marijuana onto Bali (search) island in her surfboard bag and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Schapelle Corby (search), 27, fought back tears as the verdict was announced. The maximum penalty for a conviction was death, but prosecutors had requested a life sentence.

"Judges are of the opinion that the accused imported marijuana," Judge Wayan Suastrawan said. "She was arrested red-handed at the airport."

Corby's case has drawn intense interest in Australia, and the court was packed with dozens of Australian journalists, Corby supporters and her relatives, including her mother and father.

Corby's lawyers allege the drugs were planted by airport baggage handlers in Australia (search) as part of a drug smuggling operation and that they ended up in Bali by mistake.

The Australian government had pressed Jakarta to avoid a death penalty and allow her to serve any prison sentence back home.