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Schapelle’s case of stolen identity
On paper, Schapelle Corby has been robbed of her identity.
It has been taken away piece by piece in a series of trademark applications and company registrations, without the knowledge of her or her immediate family.
The lucrative rights to use the Schapelle Corby name in everything from merchandise and book deals to tins of paint, perfumes, life-saving equipment, cookie cutters, washing powder, sheets, shoes, Christmas cards and chicken stock have been pounced on by businessmen from Melbourne to the Gold Coast.
A series of disturbing deals over recent weeks has seen almost every possible business application of the name Schapelle and Schapelle Corby being seized.
The most blatant attempt to control her name was made two months ago, shortly after prosecutors appeared in a Bali court demanding Corby be jailed for life.
Without the knowledge of Corby or her immediate family, Queensland businessman Ron Bakir set up the private holding company Schapelle Corby Pty Ltd.
It is not the first move by Mr Bakir on the Corby name.
Two months earlier, he took control of web address www.schapellecorby.com.au.
It was registered by Sydney company W Enterprises, run by an associate of Mr Bakir, on his instructions.
Mr Bakir denied any wrongdoing yesterday, as did other businessmen who have attempted to take some form of legal control over Corby’s name.
Applications filed with IP Australia, which governs intellectual property rights, include the right to put the name Schapelle to a range of products, from perfumes to “fruits and vegetables, all being preserved, dried, cooked or processed”.
A bid to copyright the rights to the name Schapelle Corby, filed last month by 31-year-old Sydneysider Daniel Goldberg, covered rights to produce and sell books and movies on Corby.
Queenslander Allan Hawley-Jacobs’ applications for the name Schapelle covers paints, varnishes,
clocks and fruits and vegetables “dried, cooked or processed”.
A Melbourne man, Nick Barnes, has applied to register Corby’s name as a luggage brand under the moniker The Corby Case.
On the internet, a range of Schapelle merchandise is being sold and shipped from the United States.
Boxer shorts, G-strings, caps, mugs, coasters, clocks and mousepads all bear Corby’s image.
Song for Schapelle, a CD single by Melbourne singer Jason Stan, is also for sale online.
Corby’s story has the potential to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from book and film deals.
QCs left out of Corby appeal
By Holly Nott - June 14, 2005
AUSTRALIAN lawyers called in to assist the appeal of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby have not been briefed on the grounds of the appeal lodged in Bali today, Perth QC Mark Trowell says.
Mr Trowell said he and fellow Perth QC Tom Percy had no idea what was in the 21-page document lodged with the Bali High Court, and they felt they had let Corby down through no fault of their own.Mr Trowell, enlisted with Mr Percy by the federal Government to assist Corby's appeal against her conviction and sentence, said the Gold Coast woman's Indonesian lawyers had not made the best use of the experience and skills they offered.
"I am not saying that we're in any way miffed or disappointed by not having been involved," Mr Trowell said.
"It just seemed to me when I spoke to Schapelle Corby she was delighted we were assisting, reassured by that fact, and hoped that we would be at least participating in some of the decision making, albeit on the periphery of her case.
"We haven't been included. That's fine because at least we offered.
"But if they want to say that we are part of this thing then they really need, for Schapelle Corby's sake, to make use of the resources that are being offered."
With the exception of an untranslated copy of the trial judges' findings, Mr Trowell said he had received no material on the case or the appeal.
A last-minute request from the Indonesian defence team for the Australian Government to provide finance and further evidence for use in the appeal was just one cause for concern, he said.
"These requests and the application for finance were made four days before the appeal in circumstances when there was a long weekend on the eastern seaboard," Mr Trowell said.
"It just concerned me they were leaving everything to the last minute to organise the material that they needed for the appeal."
Mr Trowell said the Indonesian team seemed overly dependent on the Australian Government.
"My concern was that they seemed to be saying to the Australian Government 'well, you prepare our case for us'," he said.
Full responsibility for the appeal outcome would rest with Corby's Indonesian defence team, he said.
"But this is not about the lawyers. This is all about Schapelle Corby and what is best for her."
Corby's Indonesian lawyer, Lily Lubis, said the appeal would focus on the prosecution's failure to show Corby imported the drugs into Bali last October.
The appeal lodged today also called for her conviction and 20-year jail sentence to be cancelled, and for the 27-year-old to be freed from Kerobokan prison.
Three high court judges have 60 days to decide her appeal, but can extend the deadline by another 30 days.
If they agree to reopen her trial, new evidence will be heard by the Denpasar District Court that last month sentenced Corby to 20 years in jail.
Corby was convicted of trying to smuggle 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali.
She says the drugs were planted in her boogie board bag.
Corby lawyer asks for Yudhoyono's help
The well-connected Indonesian lawyer recruited to head Schapelle Corby's appeal against her 20-year jail sentence is asking Indonesia's president to help secure a reopening of the trial.
Hotman Paris Hutapea is a flamboyant Australian-trained and Jakarta-based lawyer who proudly wears a collection of diamonds as proof of his courtroom success and his ability to persuade.
Today, he said he was putting the finishing touches to a letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
"The letter will say: In the Nias earthquake, (nine) Australian citizens gave their lives for our country (when their helicopter crashed). Now one Australian citizen asks you to look at her case, not to interfere in the case, but just to look at it," Hutapea said.
"We need political support from both governments to make the (Bali) High Court set up a new additional hearing," to consider new evidence, he added.
He said he also faxed a letter yesterday to Prime Minister John Howard asking for Australian help to send new witnesses and evidence to Bali.
This would support Corby's claim that someone must have stashed 4.1kg of marijuana in her luggage after check-in at Brisbane airport last October, he said.
He has also written to the president of Jakarta's Supreme Court, telling him that some young judges seem to have forgotten the concept of reasonable doubt.
Separately Hutapea played down reports of a breakdown in relations between Corby's Indonesian and Australian lawyers.
Perth QCs Mark Trowell and Tom Percy joined Corby's legal team on request of the Australian government to help the appeal process.
But they have complained of not being briefed before a formal appeal was lodged in the Bali couts this week, and felt the Indonesian lawyers were not making best use of their services.
They also raised concerns about some of the more bizarre tactics used to drum up support for the 27-year-old Gold Coast woman, including Hutapea's recruitment of an Indonesian soap star to sway public opinion.
However, Hutapea, who was referred to Corby's original lawyers by the QCs, said "they are happy with me".
Vasu Rasiah, a spokesman for Corby's original Bali-based lawyers, denied there had been a rift in the relationship with the QCs.
He said they had not directly approached the Bali team with any concerns.
"When we met in Bali and Perth (earlier this month), we had a good relationship. Now we are hearing all these things through the media, is the media right or wrong?" Rasiah said.
"They choose to come out in the media and say bad things about us, it's up to them. We are not going to retaliate, I'm tired of the media war."
Rasiah also lamented the lack of progress made by the QCs in obtaining new evidence in Australia.
Corby's original lawyer Lily Sri Rahayu Lubis called for calm.
"We are very disappointed. They (Trowell and Percy) said they are concerned about this case and they want to try to help us. But to be honest, now we look like we are against each other," she said.
"They can discuss this with us privately. We need to stick together for Schapelle's sake."
Corby's sister, Mercedes, said she hoped all the lawyers would put aside any differences and work together.
"I really hope they (the QCs) can get more things from the Australian government that we've been unsuccessful getting so far," she said.
Police uncover Corby breakout plan
AUSTRALIAN Federal Police are investigating a plan to recruit ex-soldiers to break Schapelle Corby out of jail in Bali.
A South Australian man is offering to pay crack ex-soldiers for weapons, false passports and expertise to bust Corby out of Indonesia and spirit her away to a secret location. The man, Mark Streater, says he has the resources to fund the operation and has already secured recruits.
Mr Streater said the operation was "100 per cent do-able" and insisted it was genuine break-out plan.
"I have no doubt someone will get her out of the country," he said.
An AFP spokeswoman in Canberra said agents were now aware of the plan and were "assessing its implications".
Rumours of an attempted jail break first surfaced days after Corby was sentenced on May 27 to 20 years' jail for smuggling 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali.
Security was tightened around the grim Kerobokan Prison at Kuta, where the 27-year-old former Gold Coast beauty student is serving her sentence.
Mr Streater said he had nothing to do with those rumours and had, until now, managed to keep his campaign a secret.
He had placed an advertisement on a website for guerillas and mercenaries, asking for people interested in a rescue mission to contact him.
Corby is not mentioned by name.
But a would-be mercenary who responded to the advertisement said Mr Streater had told him it was a plan to release a woman called Schapelle Corby and take her to another location, probably in Asia.
He said it would not be possible to keep her in Australia because of extradition arrangements between the countries.
The would-be mercenary, who does not live in Australia, contacted the Herald Sun with details of the plan, unsuccessfully seeking payment for his story.
It is believed the organisers of the campaign toyed with the idea of hiring a plane but decided instead to look for a more discreet fishing vessel.
The plan was to get Corby out of Indonesia, by whatever means possible, then take her to Darwin and transfer her to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia or Malaysia.
When asked by the Herald Sun, Mr Streater said he was the man behind the campaign.
He said he was motivated by a belief that Corby was innocent.
Mr Streater said he had also had problems with Customs and Australian Federal Police officers, some of whom he believed were responsible for smuggling drugs through Australian airports.
He would not say who his financial backers were, saying only that it was a businessman but not Gold Coast mobile phone re-seller Ron Bakir.
Mr Streater said his antipathy towards Customs and the AFP came after he was involved in a dispute when a collection of CDs he imported into Australia were damaged on their arrival.
He said Australia Post had agreed to pay 50 per cent of the damage but Customs had refused.
Mr Streater said he had later been convicted of making threats against a senior Customs official through abusive telephone messages, and had spent 10 days in the Alfred hospital's psychiatrist ward.
He said he had been contacted several times by an anonymous man who said some Customs and AFP officers were involved in drug smuggling through airports.
"I had recruited a couple of intelligence officers and some special forces," Mr Streater said.
"If people take me seriously this is going to open up a huge can of worms."
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