Sunday, May 08, 2005

Unhelpful Extra-Legal Support for Schapelle Corby

Aussies holiday makers and travel agents have threatened to boycott Bali if accused marijuana smuggler Schapelle Corby from Australia is found guilty by the Indonesian courts.

Not exactly the stuff that will achieve its end, namely to apply economic pressure to force the Indon court to declare Schapelle Corby innocent. Bloody stupid, idiotic and in fact counterproductive threats, if I may say so.

An earlier red-necked Aussie threat had been some anonymous warning to kill Indon consulate staff in Perth if Corby was found guilty. What bloody good would this be to Corby's case?

There were other nonsensical antics such as publishing a handwriting expert’s comments that based on Schapelle Corby’s style of handwriting she is an innocent woman, and shipping an Aus convict to Bali to testify on her behalf at the last moment, based purely on hearsay evidence.

The Indon Embassy in Canberra advised that using hearsay evidence would be more damaging than helpful. Undoubtedly, if there had been no substance in the convict's testimony other than just hearsay, the Indon court would judge the use of the witness unfavourably as a desperate move.

Recently when that convict was slashed in a prison, the exclamation was that his story about Corby’s innocence was proven – without of course finding out why the fight had occurred.

Some TV so-called investigative report shows weren’t any better, using ‘witnesses’ on completely unrelated cases, that of pilfering of airline baggage rather than inserting of contraband, or even worse, their opinions as evidence to Corby’s innocence - one such unfortunate example was asking an electrician working at the airport whether he thought Corby was a smuggler – as if he knew? His only possible answer, in front of millions of Aussie viewers was predictable.

Unfortunately well-intentioned Aussies are actually jeopardising the case for Corby by carrying out such threats, economic pressure and weirdo stuff such as handwriting analysis to support Corby. They just can’t well leave things alone and let the Aussie government work behind the scene.

The Aus govt has a lot of pull with the Indon govt, considering its multi-billion dollar loan during the Asian meltdown and the recent 1 billion dollar tsunami aid package. In fact, the earlier possible death penalty has already been quietly done away with, with the prosecution asking for life imprisonment instead. This is an example of how high powered negotiations, beneficial to both Indon and Aus govts work quietly and subtly behind the scenes. If those well intentioned people leave matters to the Aus govt, Corby will be back soon in Australia, either innocent of the accusation or to serve a short sentence.

Aus Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock urged Corby's backers to chill it and bloody tone down their untowards claims in the media. He stated:

''One of the things that we feel very strongly about in Australia is that our courts should be able to make their own judgments in relation to these matters, without influence by publicity and people using the media.''

''We expect that in relation to Australian matters.”

''What I've been surprised about is the extent to which, in this case, there has been a lot of campaigning through the media which, at the end of the day, makes it very much more difficult for the court to be able to deal with the range of issues it's going to have before it.''

Anybody who knows the Indon govt would agree – and you just don’t f*** around with Indon national pride and culture. Once you back the Indons into a corner, where declaring Corby as innocent or even guilty with a light sentence may be seen as kowtowing to Aus (white man) orders, you may see some nasty reaction, which may be totally out of proportion to what they may determine legally.

As Cicero said: "Hell is paved with good intentions."

If Corby receives a guilty verdict with a severe sentence, and thus faces several years of hell in an Indon jail, we know who those bloody 'pavers' are, don't we!

1 comment: