Posts Tagged ‘Schapelle Corby’
Schapelle Corby is being considered for parole, but are the conditions fair? Should she be expected to admit to something she didn’t do? Schapelle Corby, unjustly convicted of smuggling drugs into Bali in 2004, may be eligible for “parole” and may be able to return to Australia in 2018.
A meeting between the Kerobokan Jail Corrections Board and jail officials took place recently to discuss the possibility of releasing Corby on parole. Two other meetings, first between Justice Ministry officials in Bali and then between officials in Jakarta, must be held before the decision on her release can be finalized. This process could take several more months. When Corby is granted parole, she will be required to serve her time at her sister’s house in Bali.
Although Corby is eligible for parole, the process has been slowed due to a strict set of conditions recently instated by the Indonesian government concerning serious crimes, including drug smuggling. These conditions include agreeing to become a “justice collaborator,” admitting guilt, and showing remorse. The prison has already sent a letter to the corrections board, saying she has “demonstrated good behavior while in prison.” Corby has also acquired letters of support from the Australian government, the head of the village where she will be serving her parole, and her family.
Also needed for Corby’s release from jail is a ministerial decree. This approval from the Justice Minister, Nugroho, can take at least two or three months to get, sometimes longer for foreigners. Her lawyer is also waiting for a letter classifying Corby’s immigration status. She could need a “stay permit” to reside in Bali, which is needed before she can apply for parole. Corby does have a choice regarding her sentence. If she stays in jail for the rest of her sentence, she will be free to go back to Australia by 2015. However, neither of these choices satisfactory for someone who is innocent of the crime she accused of committing.
In order to be released on parole, “moral and religious training” is mandatory. This is to help integrate Corby into society and help her learn to “obey the guidance process.” Corby has also signed a document stating that she will not commit any crimes, use or distribute narcotics, and that she will report to the Corrections Board every month. Parole officers will also make surprise visits at her home in Bali. She will also report to Australian Consular officials in Bali. Considering that many details prove Corby’s innocence were covered up mostly by Australian authorities, it does not seem fair that Corby is being forced to admit to something she did not do. These details include the Australian government not using legal authority to push for the forensic and DNA tests that would further prove Corby’s innocence, and the suppression of a recording of two criminals discussing details of the marijuana drug ring in the Sydney airport. It seems as if the Australian government is more concerned with hiding the evidence that a serious drug ring is based in their airports than in rescuing their own citizen from wrongful imprisonment.
What do you think about this case?
It is unthinkable that a modern democracy would act the way that Australia did in the handling of the Schapelle Corby case. Rather than help provide evidence to the Corby defense team, the government concealed the fact that there were active criminal syndicates smuggling drugs through the baggage of Australian airports. In an earlier post, I mentioned that there was a new documentary coming out on the subject. That documentary has been released, and is available online. The Expendable Project also released a 619-page dossier outlining the defense of Schapelle. But first lets talk about the documentary. You really can’t watch 5 minutes without getting hooked. The documentary explains that the trial of Schapelle Corby was little more than a “show” trial, and that the judge that convicted her had not acquitted a single person in over 500 cases. Additionally, the documentary explains how the Australian government was complicit by covering up the evidence that drug traffickers use tourists to unwittingly transport drugs within Australia. The documentary includes an interview with an Australian couple that also arrived in Bali with marijuana in their bags that wasn’t theirs. Unbelievably, the couple explained that when they called the Australian Consulate General, they were told to NOT report the matter to the Indonesian authorities under any circumstances, and to just get rid of the drugs as soon as possible. See the video below:
Also, the Expendable Project released a dossier of evidence proving Schapelle Corby’s innocence. The well-researched packet contains valuable facts and helpful infographics to help people understand the case. See for example, the dossier asks why anyone would want to smuggle 10 pounds of marijuana into Indonesia in the first place. The dossier cites a United Nation report showing the relative price of street drugs in different nations. In Australia, marijuana sells for $15 to $31 per gram, while in Indonesia, the same drug costs 20 to 30 cents per gram. The dossier explains that the airport security in Australia was so slack that the Australian authorities were likely scared to even discuss it because they did not want to reveal how vulnerable the nation was to terrorists attacks.
When is it appropriate for nations to try to fight for the rights of its citizens? Unfortunately, politics comes into play. When Corby was convicted, the Australians did not want to offend Indonesia which is the most populated Muslim country in the world. In the Amanda Knox case, we saw the United States slow to speak out against the injustices in the Italian criminal justice system. This was due largely to the fact that Italy is a powerful ally with troops fighting in Afghanistan.
It seems like momentum is building and more people are starting to take a look at this injustice. What do you think about this case?
Schapelle Corby is a 34-year-old Australian woman who was convicted of smuggling marijuana into Bali in 2004. The Indonesian police claim to have found the drugs in a bag she and her friends had with them that contained a boogie board. Schapelle Corby claimed to have no knowledge of the drug’s presence.
She has maintained her innocence, and her trial was plagued by irregularities. The Indonesian police ordered the destruction of the physical evidence in the case, and destroyed the CCTV video of her arrest and questioning. There was no comparison of the bag’s check-in weight at the Brisbane airport compared to the weight of the bag upon arrival. The bag was not tested for fingerprints. Corby was sentenced to 20 years in prison. (In comparison, Abu Bakar Bashir (convicted of conspiring to kill 200 people in the Bali night club bombing) received only a couple years). Corby has exhausted all her appeal rights in the Indonesian justice system, but she is still petitioning for clemency. Much like the Amanda Knox trial captured the attention of the American public, Schappelle Corby caused many Australians to wonder how fairly she was treated.
But unlike the happy ending that Knox received, the abuse of Schapelle Corby continues. Check out the latest nonsense that Corby had to put up. (See story) The prison apparently has some sort of Christmas Mass for the inmates every year, where they drag the inmates out in front of the media, and announce any remissions (or slight reductions in the sentence due to good behavior). When Corby saw all the media, she asked to be brought back to her cell. Apparently, she did not want to be a part of this charade of the warden’s showy beneficence. This is what the warden said to the press: “This will be a special point against her [getting future sentence cuts] and I will report it to the Australian Consulate. … She has failed to meet all the requirements for a remission. … She is a naughty child and unappreciative of Kerobokan Penitentiary.” What a nut.
I don’t think we have heard the last of this case. There seems to be some increased attention to her case, and according to @freeschapelle on twitter, there is a new documentary coming out about her case.
What do you think of this case? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.