A SYDNEY man has made the explosive claim that the drugs seized from Schapelle Corby's luggage were intended for him.

In an extraordinary twist, the self-confessed career criminal told The Daily Telegraph yesterday he was offered $50,000 by a drug-dealing associate to collect the package of marijuana from Sydney airport last October.

But the plan went awry when a baggage handler meant to remove the drugs at Sydney airport refused to touch the package because he feared he was being watched by police.

Corby's flamboyant lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea believes the man, who lives in Sydney's western suburbs, is the key to saving her from 20 years in a Bali jail.

But in a further blow to Corby's hopes of freedom, the secret witness's own lawyer branded him a "total bullshit artist" with a history of extortion.

According to the man, after the package containing 4.1kg of cannabis failed to be retrieved at Sydney, it was slipped into Corby's boogie board bag and flown to Bali, where she was arrested by Indonesian police.

He said: "I was supposed to make a quid out of picking up the package but it never went ahead.

"I got a call telling me to forget it because the package had ended up with the Corby

girl, who was all over the television. I played a small part in it, but I know for a fact the drugs in Corby's bag were the drugs I was supposed to collect and distribute.

"It's just like everything in my life. I was supposed to get paid out of it, but it all hit the fan and left me with nothing."

Mr Hutapea is relying on the man to win Corby's freedom when the case resumes in the Denpasar District Court next week.

Mr Hutapea increased the pressure on the Federal Government yesterday, urging Justice Minister Chris Ellison to grant the witness immunity from prosecution.

The man told The Daily Telegraph he would only give evidence if he received immunity and enough money to leave the state.

But Mr Hutapea said yesterday the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions had told him immunity would not be granted unless the man's identity was revealed.

But the new witness's lawyer, Kings Cross solicitor Michael Croke, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday: "He is a total bullshit artist who has tried this on before. He will say anything to make a buck and this will devastate the Corby family.

"But the bloke sits around reading newspapers and concocting false stories so he can try to sell them to the media.

"He doesn't know anything and I've told him if he's not careful he'll end up going to jail."

In a series of lengthy interviews over two days this week, the man said he wanted to save Corby from a life in jail but also demanded $250,000 for his story.

When The Daily Telegraph refused, he said he wanted to help Corby but did not want to face criminal prosecution.

"There's nothing in it for me except a whole heap of grief," he said. "How do I know I won't end up with a bullet in my head from the people I was working for.

"I originally wanted to help her out because I don't think she should be in there."

In a last-ditch attempt to get payment for his story, the man also contacted Ron Bakir, the former Corby supporter who offered a $1 million reward for information, before the former beautician was convicted.

"He told me the reward didn't stand, so I had to look elsewhere," the man said.