Schapelle Corby
"Saya Tidak Bersalah" (I'm not guilty) -Schapelle Corby

Monday, April 30, 2012

Schapelle Corby Freedom Forum: Can Corby's Bid For Clemency Fail?

April 30, 2012 - The simple answer is, of course, yes. Although thousands of people have their fingers crossed that Indonesian President Yudhoyono will grant the immediate release of Schapelle Corby, nothing at this point is certain. Anything can happen. That's the hard part- the waiting, and not knowing the outcome. It's like watching a ball-game or any sport- you can boo or cheer but the reality is- you have no control over the outcome of the game. President Yudhoyono has the ball and the common people are not even allowed to watch the game. However, we'll get to know the 'final score' once the game is over with some morning headline such as: Corby Loses Clemency Bid.....or.....Schapelle Corby Granted Clemency etc.... Well that's lovely, but what are Corby supporters suppose to do in the meantime- besides hold their breath. All I can think of is the old expression: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worse.

The best of course would be Schapelle's immediate release. In that case there is little to do but cheer and hope she recovers from the experience. On the flip-side is the unthinkable- no release and perhaps worse- not even a sentence cut. Is that possible? Anything is possible in this twilight zone of a case. That is why it's extremely important not to let up on this issue. Keep fighting, keep spreading the word around, keep exposing the 'little known truth' as well as the lies and corruption. Tell people about the expendable project in particular because this film is a potent tool supporting Schapelle's innocence, as well as exposing the corruption in 'high places' which played a part in Corby's conviction.

One very important thing that needs to be done is to try and reverse the 'brainwashing' of Australians by some of the media there. I am amazed that so many Australians have turned their back on Schapelle Corby by believing the rubbish spouted by some of the press and major networks. Although I have not witnessed all the ridiculous stories that the Australian public has been exposed to, I am somewhat bewildered as to why so many Australians were actually buying that bulls**t. I mean, what is it- the water down there? Maybe it's radiation exposure- hole in the ozone layer?  Just kidding, I know there are a lot of Australians on the warpath for the Schapelle Corby cause. Still, there are way too many Australians who think Corby is guilty, and this is completely unacceptable. Those who think Corby is guilty are simply suffering from ignorance, and they need to know the real facts of this case. So don't get passive about this just hoping that Schapelle Corby gets clemency; Pretend that option doesn't even exist, and keep spreading the word about this injustice. That way if her bid for clemency fails, then perhaps a huge global group of pissed-off supporters just might get the job done, and bring this innocent girl home.
           "You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically
             will make even the biggest dog uncomfortable, and transform even the biggest nation"
                                                                                                          -Marian Wright Edelman              

Monday, April 23, 2012

Schapelle Corby Freedom Forum: Did Australia Turn It's Back On An Innocent Woman?

 Sunday April 22, 2012 -
As concerns the Schapelle Corby case 'the truth' often depends on who you ask. This is certainly true at least in Australia, where opinion was once overwhelmingly in favor of Corby's innocence at the time of her conviction in 2005. By 2008, public opinion in Australia started to change dramatically to the point where (according to a recent poll) most Australians believe Corby guilty- but, she should be freed having served almost 8 years of an excessively harsh sentence. Well, that's nice isn't it, but there is a hugh difference between being guilty yet shown compassion, and being innocent of the charge entirely. An innocent person doesn't need compassion as much as they need simple justice. Yet the real question here is, was justice really done? Or was an innocent woman left to take a fall, while certain 'officials' of the Australian government and AFP turned their backs on the situation?

There is an old expression that states: "It's not what you believe that really counts, it's WHY you believe it. As concerns the Schapelle Corby case, it's not difficult to understand why public opinion reversed itself. After years of 'official' apathy, and a cruel and disreputable media blitz aimed at discrediting her and her family,  Schapelle Corby became, quite simply, a "convicted drug smuggler" in need of compassion. No justice needed eh? Yet the truth does not change with the direction of the wind, and a lie is still a lie, regardless of which 'official' or media outlet spouts it. So if you think Schapelle Corby is guilty, ask yourself why you believe that. If all you can come up with are the many so-called 'true' stories you have heard or seen on the tube, then perhaps you need to re-access the foundation of your opinion. It is a fact at this point in time, that the vast majority of the negative publicity about Schapelle Corby has been proven false. Her father was not a drug dealer. The paid story about Schapelle and her sister using drugs is false. If you think she is guilty because the newsperson always starts the latest report with the words-"convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby"...........then you should never leave the house so as to be safe from strangers offering you candy. However, in all fairness to the people in Australia, there is nothing much you could have done concerning the Schapelle Corby case, regardless of what your opinion was. You didn't get her convicted and you could not have saved her- not at the time of her conviction anyway. But, there are some people in Australia who had the knowledge and power to make a difference, yet they left an Australian citizen in a foreign country to fend for herself, and knowing very well she was probably not guilty. No, you won't hear that one on the local state-run network.

Before someone asks I will tell you in advance- My opinion is that Schapelle Corby is innocent of the crime for which she was convicted. And, I will tell you WHY I believe that. First off, once you know the real facts of the case, it pretty much comes down to common sense. Now I will say outright that many people in Australia are not in possession of all the facts- you were never meant to be. Consider the following:

Let's assume for a moment that Schapelle Corby is a regular Australian woman of at least average intelligence- there is nothing that suggests otherwise. She is arrested in Bali for trying to smuggle in over 9 pounds of marijuana in her 'boogie-board' bag (which is a large bag). When the marijuana is discovered in her bag by Bali customs agents, she claims she has no idea how the 'weed' got into her bag, and that she did not put it there. Not surprisingly she is arrested and incarcerated. She goes to trial the following year on the charge and is convicted of the crime and is sentenced to 20 years.

Now, the above is pretty much common knowledge, and if that is all there was to it- then I would think she was probably guilty myself. However there is much more to it than that, but a little common sense is necessary in order to weave between the buffalo chips. First off, Corby's journey began at Brisbane airport, going to Bali via Sydney. If the weed was hers in her bag from the beginning, she would have to have gotten it through 2 airport securities- at Brisbane and Sydney. Stop right there. I find it extremely hard to believe that a person can get over 9 pounds of marijuana undisguised and stuffed in a boogie-board bag through security check points at 2 major Australian airports undiscovered, only to be 'nailed' by customs agents on the scratch-ass island of Bali. Stop, I would rather believe in the tooth-fairy. And, to top it off, who in their right mind would bring that quantity of weed from Australia (high priced) to Bali- where it is worth 10 times less. You would have to be dumb as a stump selling weed from Australia in Bali- you would lose 90 percent of your money. As for the question of 'personal' use- I am assuming of course that Schapelle didn't find it necessary to travel around with a lifetime supply.

Well I don't know about you but I am not buying any of that- no pun intended. That just strains credibility big time. I think what really happened was quite simple and logical, yet much more sinister. And there is evidence to back up what I think. What I believe happened- and I am certainly not alone in my belief- is that the marijuana was never suppose to leave Australia, with Schapelle's bag being used without her knowledge by drug dealers to transport the marijuana from Brisbane to Sydney- with 'inside' help. The inside help was of course employees at the Australian airports in question- most likely a baggage handler whose job it is to transport the passengers bags to the plane and load them. This would explain how Schapelle's boogie-board bag made it through the security check points at both airports. All it takes is just one bag handler at each airport. It would have worked like this:

Schapelle arrives at Brisbane airport with her companions and her boogie board bag makes it through the security check point because there is no marijuana in her bag. After the security check but before it is loaded on the plane in Brisbane a baggage handler puts the marijuana in her bag and notes the baggage number. The plane then goes from Brisbane to Sydney, and on arrival at Sydney airport the passenger's bags are unloaded- you guessed it- by more baggage handlers. The inside man at Sydney airport would know exactly which bag had the weed in it, having been contacted in advance by the inside man at Brisbane. Now it is a fact that at Sydney, Schapelle's bag did not get checked at all and no record exists of the bag even being weighed (which is required)- it simply 'disappeared' for a short time. Now at this point the marijuana should have been removed from Schapelle's bag, having reached it's intended destination in Sydney, but someone obviously 'missed the drop', or got cold feet, or thought they smelled a set-up, and the bag with the weed ended up on the plane to Bali. And you all know what happened then.

The above is not simply a theory. There is evidence to support that is probably what happened- or something very similar. At her trial/appeal Schapelle's defense team contended that the marijuana was possibly put in her bag without her knowledge by baggage handlers at the airports in Australia. Well, the Indonesian court was not quick to buy that possibility and after commissioner Keelty's public statement regarding the issue, Schapelle's fate was sealed. The following is what he said:

"There is very little intelligence to suggest that baggage handlers are using innocent people to traffic heroin or other drugs between states".
                                                         -Commissioner Keelty

Now, is that a true statement? Former head of operations for the AFP's Internal Investigations Ray Cooper stated pretty much the opposite to the Nine Network, but unfortunately, not in time to help Corby's case with her legal options having been spent. This is what he had to say on the matter:

...It was well known by the AFP that unwitting passengers were being used as 'mules' to shift drugs between Australia's domestic airports. (He further stated that) ...His investigations suggested some state and federal police were in league with the smugglers.

Seems that 'insiders' at the airports smuggling drugs using passengers was not uncommon, and what happened to Schapelle Corby was not that unusual. We only know her name now because someone 'missed the drop' at Sydney airport and she ended up with unwanted 'extra baggage' on her arrival in Bali. It could have happened to anyone, but it ended up being her, perhaps only because her bag was big enough to hold that much marijuana. There is little doubt at this point in time that more than a few people had evidence that could have greatly helped her case. What I have shared with you above is only the tip of the iceberg. If you want a good dose of the truth concerning the Schapelle Corby case, watch the documentary on her by "" and they have the documentation to back up what they are reporting on. In my mind there is no doubt Schapelle Corby was sacrificed in 2004, in order that certain politicians and police could avoid public embarrassment by having to admit that either the security of major Australian airports were unsound, or that drug smugglers were indeed operating successfully at airports with help from the inside. No, it's much easier to turn your back on a lone victim, than to face a rather sticky and embarrassing situation. As concerns Schapelle Corby, with justice lacking and faced with many more years in prison, is compassion alone of any real use?

"To those who understand, no explanation is needed. To those who do not understand, no explanation will suffice" - St. Thomas Aquinas

Friday, April 20, 2012

Who Is Schapelle Corby and Why Should I Care?

Schapelle Corby is a 34 year old Australian woman who has been imprisoned on the island of Bali since 2004. In October of that year she was arrested by Bali customs agents when it was discovered there was over 9 pounds of marijuana in a large 'boogie-board' bag she had brought with her from Australia. She claimed at the time that the bag was hers but had no knowledge of the marijuana being in her bag. She was arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle the drug into Bali. The following year (2005) she was convicted by an Indonesian court and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Corby has always maintained that the marijuana was not hers and that it must have been planted in her bag without her knowledge. Although that claim may appear a bit lame to some people- it should be taken into consideration that such things do happen. Unsuspecting travelers have been used before by drug dealers to get their goods through customs and then retrieve the drugs later when it is safe to do so. It should be pointed out that the Indonesian court did not 'prove' that Corby was responsible for the marijuana. She was convicted solely on the fact that it was found in a bag belonging to her, and no evidence could be presented that 'proved' the marijuana was planted by someone else. As they say in the U.S. : Possession in 9/10th of the law.

The main purpose of this forum however, is not to prove the innocence or guilt of Schapelle Corby (although I am sure attempts will be forthcoming). Rather, it is the fact that her sentence was so harsh, considering Corby was not a known drug dealer and had no prior convictions in Bali or Australia. Also there is ample evidence that Schapelle Corby's mental and emotional health has been declining for the last several years in prison. She was hospitalized for severe depression in 2008 and 2009, and has been on anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs for some time now. A prison sentence is never meant to destroy a person, yet some people decline rapidly in such an environment, with some eventually losing their grip on reality.

In 2010 Corby appealed to the president of Indonesia for clemency. The Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Ministry also recommended that Schapelle Corby be granted clemency on humanitarian grounds. This is now in the hands of the Indonesian president who has the final say in the matter. It is my hope that Dr. Yudhoyono will show mercy to Schapelle Corby (who is now in declining health) and grant her outright release, or at the very least, greatly reduce her sentence. After Corby serving 8 years in a foreign prison, this is not a 'get out of jail free' card, 8 years is not a drop in the bucket; releasing her is simply the humanitarian thing to do.

One should remember that if Schapelle Corby is indeed innocent, then this is truly a nightmare that needs to be remedied. It is something that can happen to any traveler- anywhere in the world, and in the future it may be you, or may be me. Yet innocence or guilt aside- Corby's situation is one that calls for compassion. Those with empathy need no proof of this, and the cold-hearted will always turn away with indifference.