Thursday, June 04, 2009

Schapelle Corby

I wrote a letter to the newspapers following the conviction of Schapelle Corby for drug trafficking in May 2005. They did not publish it. However, I came across it in my files and thought I would include it here. It responded to the emotive attacks on the Indonesian judiciary in the wake of their verdict. I read today in The Daily Telegraph a story about Corby and I remain amazed by the continuing interest in her case four years after she was convicted. The letter appears below.

Generalised criticisms of the Indonesian judiciary are unwarranted and unhelpful. The Schapelle Corby guilty verdict will inevitably lead to emotional criticisms of the Indonesian legal system from certain sections of the Australian community. This is an entirely natural response given the divisive public debate over Corby’s guilt or innocence. However, it needs to be remembered that many in the community applauded the guilty verdicts in the trials of the Bali bombers as evidence of reform and balance in the Indonesian judiciary. Criticisms of specific inadequacies of a verdict are preferable to generalised value judgements of a sovereign nation’s judiciary. These double standards can only serve to damage perceptions of Australia in Indonesia.


Robert Halligan said...

Mr Standford, I am amazed that you remain amazed by the continuing interest in the case of Schapelle Corby four years after she was convicted. She was convicted because the material was in her bag, and she couldn't prove that she didn't put it there, having been systematically deprived of every means of doing so. Apart from the content of her bag, there is not one shred of evidence that she is guilty. But there is much to suggest a conspiracy to convict her, despite her being innocent. Believe it or not, some people regard her conviction and incarceration as an intolerable injustice.

David Stanford said...

Mr Halligan, you may not have noticed, but I made no mention in my letter as to Schappelle's guilt or innocence. My comment was merely a warning to avoid emotionally charged/subjective criticism of Indonesia's judiciary as it does no one any favours.