February 2, 2013
Well it seems like Indonesia just doesn't want to let that girl go. They're hanging on to Schapelle Corby like she was some kind of national treasure. Parole for Corby now seems like a dead issue, thanks to a recent Indonesian law that states a convict "Corruptors" must become a 'justice collaborator' and help investigators discover others involved in the crime one is convicted of. In short, that means you have to 'rat out' everyone who may have been involved in your crime, in order to be paroled. And according to Justice minister Amir Syamsuddin, Corby hasn't done that yet.
There is just one problem with the above as I see it- What if Schapelle Corby is not guilty to begin with? Who then can she put the finger on? As the Indonesian authorities well know, Corby has proclaimed her innocence for the last 8 years. Now I'm not saying that the new law was put into affect simply to confound Schapelle's chances for parole...but it does make me wonder.
Maybe it's just me, but Indonesia seems really determined to keep this girl locked up on the island of Bali for as long as they can. Granted, the Indonesian president did cut 5 years off her sentence, but considering that the sentence of 20 years for pot smuggling was insanely excessive to begin with- that's not a big deal. Twenty years for pot smuggling makes the sentence of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot for a political protest in a Moscow church, seem like an act of mercy.
Serving over 8 years so far is obviously not enough time for Corby though. A woman with no criminal record, and with ample evidence showing she probably didn't commit the crime anyway, it's just a very sad overkill. Considering the fact that this young woman has serious mental health issues now, I don't think trying to make an example of her puts Indonesia in a good light. And it doesn't make Australia look too slick either.
It seems Australia is content to leave Corby to her fate. Despite the fact that half the country thinks she's guilty for the most ridiculous reasons, most people in Australia think she has done more than enough time and should be released. However, at the present time it doesn't look like release for Corby is possible, thanks to new restrictions on foreigners getting parole in Indonesia. So what, if anything, is Australia going to do now about Schapelle Corby? Well, in the past they have done just about nothing, but hopefully that can change. Why isn't there anymore talk of an exchange of prisoners? You know, like the Aussies give up ten Indonesian people smugglers, and get Corby in return. Is that not possible? Of course it is. The Australian government has claimed that it is doing everything they can for Schapelle Corby. Really? It doesn't look like it. Has Australia offered an exchange of prisoners- have they even considered that option? It seems clear at this point in time that Indonesia is going to make Corby do her full sentence, unless the Australian government makes some kind of serious effort to bring this woman home. Make an official offer to the Indonesians for a prisoner exchange, and for once, forget the excuses and screw the politics. Who knows, despite all the apathetic Australians and hardline Indonesians, you just might save what's left of Schapelle Corby's life.