Schapelle Corby (aged 30) is an Australian woman currently serving a 20 year prison sentence after being convicted for smuggling drugs into Bali. She has protested her innocence from day one and continues to do so despite the possibility that an admission of guilt coupled with an appeal for clemency to the President might result in a reduction of the time she spends in jail.
On Sunday night Channel Nine showed the first part of a documentary covering the three years of her imprisonment from arrest to date. So far the program has done little but demonstrate just how appalling her defense team was!
Coincidentally on the day before the transmission of the first part she was admitted to hospital suffering from ‘severe depression’ and is receiving ongoing treatment. This picture by Luke Bintaro and published by news.com.au shows a sad, depressed and broken woman. A far cry from the beautiful vivacious person arrested three years ago.
I’m the first to admit I can’t *know* whether she is innocent or not, however I *think* she is partly because I cannot conceive of someone as intelligent as she is being idiotic enough to risk their life in such a trivial way. In addition whilst the case against her might well have looked ‘strong’ in fact it was so full of holes it should have been almost a walkover for the defence team had they not been more interested in themselves instead of their client.!
The documentary itself has done her case little good and probably much harm. It was clear that Schapelle and her family were totally out of their depth with the situation they found themselves in and relied far too heavily on advisers who were running their own agenda, and a legal team that seemed to have little grasp on the reality of how desperate a situation she was in. From the information in the documentary, it appears they all bar fabricated her entire defence blaming ‘baggage handlers’ for inserting the drugs into her luggage and using her as an anonymous ‘mule. Actually, whilst this defence has been discredited to a large degree it *still* remains a possibility that this is exactly what happened and that they hit on the truth by pure fluke!
For details on just how badly her defence was handled look at the Wikipedia entry on Schapelle’s case and you will see that handled properly there was sufficient doubt to have ensured her acquittal!! That the case was mishandled disastrously is without question.
As far as the Indonesians are concerned they don’t care either way. The facts as they saw them were quite simply that they stopped someone at customs who was carrying a large quantity of drugs into the country. This person could offer no reasonable defence and was convicted
Who put the drugs in her bags? There are three possibilities. Firstly she did it herself. Secondly a member of her family did. Thirdly, someone ‘else’ did of whatever reason.
The first she denies vehemently. The latter whilst still a possibility has been discredited. This leaves the possibility a member of her family did it with or without her knowledge. You are then stuck with asking yourself if it was done *without* her knowledge, what member of a family would allow their sister to spend 20 years rotting in jail without coming forward to attempt to confess their own guilt.
The second part of the documentary will be aired tonight and I hope to be able to watch it. I doubt anything will be shown that we don’t already know, but perhaps by showing the known facts in a new way more light may be shed on what happened.
Of course, having said that, nobody knows what *really* happened in this case except the person or persons who inserted the drugs into that boogie bag, and it is likely nobody else will ever know. Nevertheless the result *is* known, i.e. that a relatively young woman will be spending her most productive years in one of the worst prisons in Southern Asia with little prospect of release.
Sadly she is now also fighting against public opinion in Australia which has swung firmly against her in part because of the publicised connections her *family* are supposed to have had with drug dealing (true or not). You can choose your friends but not your family, and whilst they (especially her sister Mercedes), are supporting her as best they can, they are damaging her by association. It’s hard to believe, but people are actually *bored* by this woman’s plight and are just not interested.
If it was my son or daughter, or if it was me, I’d want my country in my corner fighting tooth and nail on my behalf. Unless the Australian government is willing to broker a deal with the Indonesians to push for her release on compassionate grounds, and assuming she survives without killing herself, I can’t see her returning to Australia until 2024, by which time she’ll be a broken woman, old before her time.