It is an indictment of the media that the majority of our journalists have strayed into disturbing lazy social commentary and wild speculation in regards to Schapelle Corby rather than any semblance of serious investigative journalism. The two key stories should have been whether Schapelle Corby is innocent and the extent of corruption within airport services.
In this short piece I want to summarise a number of key points that the mainstream media has failed to address. These key points go to the heart of whether Ms Corby is innocent or not.
The 2002 and 2003 Allan Kessing reviews of security at Sydney Domestic Airport. Mr Kessing found rife corruption and drugs trafficking by airport baggage handlers. Mr Kessing said the reviews were effectively suppressed.
Not long after Ms Corby’s arrest the Kessing reports were leaked to the news media. But in an unbelievable first for Australia, Mr Kessing was prosecuted for allegedly ‘passing information’ to the media – such was the sensitive nature of these reports which indicate the extensiveness of corruption among our airport services.
My Interview with Mr Kessing – here:
In 2005, following the arrest of Ms Corby, Prime Minister John Howard commission Sir John Wheeler to review airport services and he produced the Independent Review of Airport Security and Policing for the Government of Australia – here:
Repentant former criminal William Moss confessed that the cannabis planted in Ms Corby’s bag was to be sold on the streets of Sydney – collected by him from the Sydney Domestic Airport baggage handler who had intended to retrieve it.
On the day that Ms Corby was a passenger from Brisbane Domestic to Sydney Domestic to Sydney International (and onward to Denpasar), the NSW Crimes Commission was coordinating a drugs surveillance operation at Sydney Domestic – Operation Mocha, led by the Commission’s Assistant Director, Mark Standen. Mr Standen had been a former Customs Officer before climbing dizzy heights at the Crimes Commission. The airport baggage handlers were tipped off and hence the cannabis was not retrieved from Ms Corby’s boogie board bag.
Operation Mocha had been hoping to catch a substantive traffick of cocaine from South America. Unbelievably, the cocaine got through!
In 2012, the disgraced Mark Standen was jailed for up to 20 years for attempting to import a large shipment of pseudoephedrine that it was alleged would have been used to make between $60 million to $120 million of ‘ice’.
Not long ago, former Sydney police officer Christopher John Laycock was sentenced to four years for corruption – and William Moss had alleged that the cannabis had been intended for ‘his Sydney gang’. I understand that he received a reduced sentences, mostly due to a reduction of charges, because of behind-the-scenes plea bargaining.
Key pieces of evidence that have never been scrutinised by the mainstream media include Mr Moss’ confession and an alleged secret recording of Mr Moss with another party. The minutes of a meeting by Operation Gymea (part of the NSW Crimes Commission) includes references to a secret recording by the Australian Federal Police of Mr Moss with an associate of the Laycock gang where the intended retrieval and collection of the cannabis from Sydney Domestic was discussed.
The minutes from a meeting of a NSW Crimes Commission project team – known as the Gymea Team, are reproduced below with some names not connected to Ms Corby redacted.
This evidence was never released to Ms Corby’s legal teams nor by the NSW Crimes Commission and the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Government to the relevant Indonesian authorities.
Then there is the fact that there has never been any other report of substantive quantities of cannabis trafficked to Indonesia from Australia – because there is no money in it. The United Nations 2007 World Drugs Report puts paid to any suggestion that anyone would wilfully smuggle cannabis from Australia to Indonesia. As Mr Kessing said to me, “In my 15 years as a customs officer I have never heard of any report before or since Schapelle Corby of anyone trying to traffick cannabis to Indonesia. It’s like sending coals to Newcastle, it just does not happen.”
The United Nations 2007 report found the average Australian street price per gram of cannabis at $26.20 USD while the average Indonesian street price per gram of cannabis is reported at a paltry 20 cents USD. That is $26 USD differential. 4.2 kilograms of cannabis was found in Ms Corby’s boogie board bag. The Australian street value would have been $110,040 USD while the Indonesian street value would have been $840 USD.
That the news media bypassed this vital fact should disturb everyone.
The UN report includes the conclusion, “Sale of cannabis purchased in Australia would be a profitable business model (approx. 423 per cent return on investment) whereas the same business model applied to Indonesia would result in substantial losses and would be unsustainable as a business.”
For more information on the street value of cannabis go to the United Nations World Drugs Report 2007 – refer to pages 232 to 236 –here.
Then there are my claims, that go back to May 2012, that high ranking officials in both the Indonesian and Australian Governments have told me that Ms Corby is innocent, and that they have known it all along but for ‘geopolitical reasons’ and ‘in the national interest’ they have ‘had to sacrifice her’.
Ms Corby has always pleaded her innocence and because of this has endured a disproportionate prison sentence than would have been the case had she pled guilty. “I cannot plead guilty to something I did not do.”
There is so much more but if the news media looked into these identified evidences and issues alone, then we would be heading in the right direction. Why have ‘investigative media’ failed to this?
The news media can at long last choose to do its duty and investigate – because if Ms Corby is innocent, which I know her to be, then one cannot be truly free till various restitution, which includes restoration of public reputation, are achieved.