On Friday 17 March 2006, the evidence that could prove Schapelle Corby's
innocence will be destroyed by the Indonesian Authorities. Schapelle's
lawyers are urgently pushing to have tests done as a last ditch effort to
prove her innocence. The Indonesian Government haven't allowed her lawyers
to fully exhaust all avenues of appeal before they destroy the evidence
that has yet to be tested. Australia has given Indonesia billions of
dollars over the past few years for Customs, Law enforcement and forensic
training and yet, at no time during Schapelle's arrest did any Indonesian
authorities wear protective gloves, nor did they bother to finger print her
boogey board bag, or test the cannabis as you would expect any law
enforcement agency to do. What hope does an Australian citizen ever have to
a fair trial when these basic protocols are not even followed?
Contrary to media reports, the lawyers for Schapelle have, from the day she
was arrested in October 2004 till now, continued to request Indonesian
Authorities test the Marijuana discovered in her boogey board bag. On
December 3, 2004, having sighted the papers Schapelle signed giving her
consent for the tests to be done, the Australian Federal Police [AFP]
formally offered assistance to the Indonesian police to conduct DNA tests
on the cannabis. However, in early January 2005, the Corby family were
advised that the Indonesian police would not give any of the cannabis to
the AFP for testing.
Your Excellency also stated to media that the Indonesians refused requests
by the Australian Federal Police to test the cannabis. The AFP wanted to
test the drug to ascertain its source because Schapelle claimed it was not
in her luggage when she left Australia and must have been planted there in
Your quote "The defence lawyers wanted it done, we asked, and yes, it's
true the Indonesian police didn't agree to hand over any of the cannabis
for testing," Mr Downer said.
You also said the Indonesians said they "were perfectly capable of doing
that sort of testing themselves".
Respectfully I ask, why then has it not been done and what representations
did our Government make to oppose this?
During the first court hearing, the high court and the supreme court
hearing, the lawyers for Schapelle again asked for the cannabis to be
tested. The judges refused.
Schapelle Corby will ultimately suffer yet another injustice when on Friday
17 March 2006, her final hopes are destroyed along with the evidence that
might have cleared her of any wrongdoing, or at the very least, provided a
more reasonable conclusion to events.
Meanwhile, I have to question what it is exactly that the Australian
Government does to aid in the defence of its own citizens' legal rights
when clearly those rights are being violated. Should not our Government
have an obligation to protect the legal and civil rights of its citizens no
matter where they are?
I understand perhaps more than most, given my own experiences in Laos, that
the Australian Government cannot interfere in another State's judicial
process. Surely however, we can work towards becoming more persuasive in
our representations to seek accountability of the application of another
States' 'rule of law'?
Foreign Prisoner Support Service