Sunday, December 17, 2006

How Corby was denied a defence

Did IQs suddenly plunge at the turn of the century?

Do we honestly believe that 2000 protesting university students in Jakarta brought down the Indonesian government by scaling the palace walls and ousting Suharto thereby ushering in democracy?

Do we honestly believe that Suharto wasn’t tried and convicted for crimes against humanity because he was too sick to stand trial?

How did you manage to keep a straight face when after all this, Suharto sued Time Magazine for defamation and won because they dared to call him a crook?

Well, that’s Indonesia where corruption and lies are an integral part of the system rather than a criminal offence. The truth is that Indonesian politics serves the elite just as it has always done and democracy was no more than a name-change. The Indonesian courts have always served the military and police regime and I have seen nothing to indicate that the judiciary have been elevated within Indonesia to change this.

Where it has become a problem is that gives a headache for other nations who must deal with Indonesia. In order for governments to not offend Indonesia they must ignore the dictatorship behind the curtain but in so doing they lie to their own people and so the corruption spreads like a cancer.

It becomes criminal when innocent people and the citizens of neighbouring nations fall victim to these lies.

Every time Schapelle Corby is discussed it is couched in the terms of ‘did she or didn’t she’ which tends to ignore one of the biggest scandals of the 21st Century. It’s much like asking if any of the 8 million victims of the Nazi holocaust were actually criminals and deserved some kind of punishment.

Schapelle’s trial was so unfair that they may as well have skipped it entirely and had she actually been guilty there would have been no need to destroy and veto the evidence. In fact, had Schapelle been guilty, the prosecution would have been delighted to present fingerprinting of the plastic bag, the weighing of her luggage to determine if she was in possession of the drugs in Brisbane, and an analysis of the drugs themselves with Schapelle’s hair caught in the sticky resin. That they would fight tooth and nail to prevent this evidence from being presented in court is ample proof that they were aware that it would not support their case.

And, all of Australia missed this… Or, did they? Matthew Moore of the Age claimed on 26th of May 2005 that the reason there is a market in Bali for Australian marijuana is because Westerners don’t feel secure buying their drugs from Indonesians and prefer buying them from Westerners. Moore implies that it is unsafe for Westerners to buy drugs but an acceptable risk for Westerners to sell drugs in competition with the Indonesian dealers. Moore’s argument is pure insanity especially in light of the fact that no Australian marijuana has ever been identified in Indonesia and no Australian drug dealers have ever been arrested.

So how could this article turn all of Australia from the knowledge that Indonesia is one of the world’s suppliers of high-grade marijuana to the unsupported belief that Australians like Schapelle Corby were shipping marijuana to Bali for a healthy profit without it being debated, reviewed, disputed or even commented upon?

The Corby case was alleged to be a case of transnational drug trafficking between Australia and Indonesia and yet the Indonesians had the gall to call it an “Internal Indonesian matter”. They did not insist that Australian authorities investigate the Corbys or to determine whether Schapelle was merely a small part of a much larger problem. In fact, the Australian government acted as if they had been told to ignore the Corby case completely and no one made any comment upon this.

Journalists never pursued the missing Brisbane airport CCTV footage even when our government and the Brisbane Airport administration concocted three different stories to explain the anomaly. Clearly, at least two of these stories were lies and the silence from the media on this highlighted a far bigger problem for the Australian people than whether Schapelle Corby is guilty or not.

When the Indonesian arresting police determined that the court would not see any of the measurable evidence, despite the protestations of the Corbys and some of Schapelle’s lawyers any pretence that Schapelle would get a fair legal trial were gone. What was worse was that all of this was downplayed and ignored by the media and our government employed ‘experts’ in a bid to push the lie that Indonesia had a fair judicial system because it was now a vibrant democracy.

Instead of standing up to this Australian corruption that opens the door for our government and its media toadies to strip us of all rights granted since the Magna Carta we are lied to, bought and distracted. We discuss Schapelle’s guilt or innocence in terms of a character debate that ignores the known facts. For years the Aceh Liberation movement has funded itself by producing one of the world’s most potent strains of marijuana and this is often sold in Bali along with the low-grade marijuana sold by the police to entrap tourists. However, no drug dealer in Indonesia, whether they are supplying high grade or low grade marijuana would tolerate foreigners stealing their customers and would denounce any Australians trying to do business there. Schapelle is innocent because no one takes marijuana from Australia to Indonesia and this was ignored by the Indonesian court, the Australian government and our media as well.

I ask people to stand up on this one. It is more important than you may imagine.