Friday, May 27, 2005

Twenty Years Jail - And For What?

I have no time for drugs. I have no time for people that do drugs. I have less than no time for people that sell drugs.

I also believe that one must be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be guilty of a crime.

Time for the mention of Schapelle Corby. I can't imagine that anyone travelling from Brisbane to Sydney domestically and then from Sydney to Bali internationally would be able to get 4.1 kilograms of marijuana past airport security and customs. Does anyone remember a little incident which killed nearly 3000 people and destroyed at least four office blocks and was dubbed "September 11"?

One would have thought, mistakenly it must be so, that airport security in Australia these days was fairly high on the agenda. I mentioned in a previous post that airport security in Adelaide for a domestic flight was so stringent that my father couldn't bring a very small pocketknife into the departure lounge. The security guards were quite zealous in fact.

I've never heard the name schapelle before but it has been etched into my brain. It will be associated with the meanings:

Unfairly dealt with

Granted, I don't speak Indonesian and have not attended all of the trial, but how can anyone in their right mind find beyond reasonable doubt that the drugs belonged to Schapelle?

The judge, Linton Siriat, had apparently overseen more than 500 cases with drug offences involved. He has never acquitted anyone.

Fact 1 - Drugs were found in Schapelle's boogie board bag.
Fact 2 - There are no more facts.

Did the judge take this into consideration when only sentencing her to twenty years jail? For four kilograms I think that she was given a light sentence. I am surprised that the death penalty was not issued. I don't think she did it though. And I couldn't see her getting off once I had heard of the judge's history of sentencing with this type of offence.

Many people will argue that we have given so much aid to Indonesia recently due to the Asian Tsunami but that has nothing to do with it. Schapelle was sentenced by a court of law. This is where it must remain. It does not belong in the public arena or to be used as a bargaining chip by Government departments. She does have the right to appeal to higher courts and I hope she is successful in overturning the sentence.

The Balinese people are worried that people from Australia will stop visiting the island. The Bali Bombing hasn't kept us away forever and I hope that judge Siriat's finding, and that of the two other judges, doesn't poison peoples' minds towards the Indonesian people. That would be a travesty of justice. We need to keep our minds open and not judge people on the finding of a few judges.

Australians should continue to travel to Bali. But they must lock their bags accordingly. I've never had any inclination to visit Bali as it is full of drunk, stoned louts from Australia. I see enough of them here and don't wish to go anywhere where they congregate and the concentration of them is increased markedly. Miky even wanted to go to Bali for our honeymoon.

Take stock people but let justice take its course.


Hammysmum said...

You say it so much better that i, son.

nick said...

its an interesting case alright, I'm not so sure if she's innocent though, even so, it's pretty harsh sentence for a stupid mistake, could have been anyone just out of uni smoking the stuff. I mean, your points a very valid Hammy, but I think the points on the other side are valid too. Why would someone else be bothered to put so much of the stuff in her bag? Were they just going to wait for her to get out of the airport and then mug her to get it back or something? I wouldn't put it past her doing something innocently stupid like that, but hey, who the hell knows what really happened, maybe she is innocent, the whole things all a bit fucked up really.

Hammy said...

Let's just say that it was a baggage handler that put the drugs into her bag after the bag had gone through airport security. The guy at the other end receiving it missed the bag and she cops 20 years in jail for it.

The defining point that would have saved her is information regarding the weight of her bags at checking-in. Apparently these records are only kept for three days and by the time her lawyers applied for this information from her airline it had been deleted. If indeed the bag was 4.1 kgs heavier by the time it landed in Bali then it would almost prove her innocence - unless she was in cahoots with baggage handlers.

Will we ever know?