Last year, on September 26, an Indonesian Supreme Court Judge, Andi Ayyub Saleh said that Schapelle Corby should be released immediately from prison “given the anomal(ies) in that case.” Judge Saleh wrote a submission to the Indonesian President seeking through a presidential decree a sentence reduction for Ms Corby.
Judge Saleh recommended to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that “not only (does) she deserve early parole, she should be freed.”
The Judge is a believer in the fact that the cannabis was planted in Ms Corby’s luggage – by corrupted airport luggage handlers. It has never made any sense, and never will, that anyone would attempt to smuggle cannabis into Bali from Australia. Cannabis can be sold on Australia’s city streets for up to ten times the value it can be sold for in Bali.
Ms Corby was let down by the Australian Government which did not come to her defence, nor admit to its corrupted airport services. The Indonesian Government had wanted Australia to own up to and then do more about remedying airport services corruption, which would mean less illicit drugs trafficked into Indonesia. Ms Corby became politically expedient, but such bartering of human worth and dignity, for ones very life, by one’s own Government, shames to no end that Government. No paltry excuses such as national security, geopolitical reasons, nor the foreign jurisdictions line wash, rather they forever stain.
In his recommendations to President Yudhoyono, Judge Saleh stated, “Even the Australian Police Chief sent a recommendation saying Corby is an educated and honoured citizen with no prior record of crime, including narcotics.”
Judge Saleh’s plea did not fall on deaf ears and President Yudhoyono decreed a five year reduction but Ms Corby is still not free – and it may well arise that she will not be free till 2016. Those closest to Ms Corby have said to me that it is not likely she will survive if the wait is for 2016. Ms Corby has been deteriorating, psychologically for quite some time, and either she will be irreversibly damaged or die if she continues to languish much longer in Kerobokan.
It is not just Judge Saleh who believes in Ms Corby’s innocence. There is one very interesting WikiLeaks cable that states it all. Last year, WikiLeaks began publishing ‘The Global Intelligence Files’ – over five million emails – from the Texan-based global intelligence analytic giant Stratfor. Stratfor is as huge as they get, providing confidential intelligence to Governments and the world’s most powerful corporations – including to monoliths likes the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. Stratfor’s success is built purely on the accuracy of their intelligence information.
A Stratfor email from one of its intelligence tactical analysts, Marko Primorac is an eye opener for the general public when it comes to an independent assessment of airport services in Australia and of Ms Corby. Mr Primorac’s investigations covered smuggling globally – from heroin to cannabis.
Mr Primorac stated, “Moving marijuana through international borders is big business.” Right throughout his report he confirms that random passengers’ luggage are picked out and illicit drugs planted and therefore the passengers become ‘drug mules’. This practice is the predominant means of drug trafficking through airports.
In reference to Ms Corby he stated, “Several baggage agents can work together to ensure packages are placed in an unsuspecting mule’s luggage. These smuggling teams place packages in luggage belonging to uninvolved passengers like Schapelle Corby, who didn’t even know the marijuana was in her bag. Unscrupulous? Yes. However, this is how millions of pounds of marijuana get shipped in the US and the around the globe. It’s bad news if the unwitting mule gets jail time if the pot is intercepted, as it was in Schapelle Corby’s case or if the mule figures out what’s going on and keeps the goods.”
Not only does Judge Saleh understand that Ms Corby is innocent, so does Mr Primorac.
For a more comprehensive understanding on the disturbing nature of drugs trafficking around the world you can read the WikiLeaks-released Stratfor cable in its entirety here.
Not only do Judge Saleh and Mr Primorac know that Ms Corby is innocent but so do my many sources, and many others, within the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and within the Indonesian Government.
Most importantly we know who all the shadowy players are – who planted the cannabis, who were to collect it, and who were meant to distribute it.
William Moss, a repentant former criminal, has admitted he was to collect the cannabis from Sydney Domestic airport – but as I have written in previous articles the cannabis was not retrieved by airport luggage handlers on that fateful day of October 8, 2004 at Sydney Domestic after being planted in Ms Corby’s boogie board bag by a corrupted airport luggage handler at Brisbane Airport. Operation Mocha was underway at Sydney Domestic on that day – ‘secret’ surveillance on luggage handlers and customs officers. The corrupted personnel were tipped off and hence spooked they did not dare retrieve the cannabis. Instead of it being sold on the streets of Sydney at premium prices it finished up at Denpasar Airport and so began Ms Corby’s nightmare. Without a honest Australian Government voice – with the truth at hand at all times – Ms Corby stood no chance against Indonesia’s zero tolerance policies on possession of illicit drugs. The Australian Government sat relatively idle and quiet on the truth of the state of affairs in Australian airport services.
If everything that is known about Ms Corby’s case had been presented to an Australian court she would be free – she would have been found not guilty. However the Australian Government’s lazy bent is that Ms Corby is in an Indonesian jurisdiction. Similarly so the Australian Federal Police have failed to properly move on matters relating to Ms Corby, such as the admission of guilt by Mr Moss, because once again the line is that Ms Corby is in an Indonesian jurisdiction. But all this is bullshit because the Australian Federal Police and their Indonesian counterparts work ever so closely, and much more could have been done. Similarly so the Australian Government could have secured justice for Ms Corby.
Watch this interview with Mr Moss – it is disturbing that we know what happened but sadly a different message is being sold to the Australian people about Ms Corby and her family.
“The drugs were never meant for Bali,” Mr Moss.
“As I have said many times, criminals do not come forward and give themselves up, but this idiot has.”
Mr Moss came clean in July 2005 in terms of his role with the cannabis in Ms Corby’s boogie board bag. This testimony should have invigorated the Australian Federal Police and the various Crimes Commissions, particularly the NSW Crimes Commission to find out, corroborate and publicly report on whether Ms Corby was an unwitting drug mule or not, and report on the extent of airport services corruption – in the public interest. The news media reported Ms Moss’ claims on July 27 but immediately set upon him, savaging his claims.
A Daily Telegraph report, July 27, 2005, can be read here.
The savaging resulted in legal action by Mr Moss, for defamation, but which was ultimately settled. Mr Moss has provided explicit detail as to the corruption of airport services, which I have covered in previous articles, and which is corroborated by Stratfor’s Mr Primorac, and by various whistleblowers – one of them of a former Customs investigator, Allan Kessing, whom I included and his reports in previous articles.
It is now known the NSW Crimes Commission has a secret recording of Mr Moss discussing the collection by Moss of the cannabis with an associate of the gang that it was intended for. In an extract of minutes of a meeting of a NSW Crimes Commission project team discussing the recording, the head of Operation Mocha is noted as being present – Mr Standen.
If the Australian Federal Police and the NSW Crimes Commission had all this information at hand, why was it not presented in 2005 at the September trial of Ms Corby? Why was it effectively suppressed? And if mistakes were made in not reporting all this information, especially the recording between the gang associate who was to collect the cannabis from Mr Moss, why did not the AFP or the NSW Crimes Commission seek remedy by reporting this information to their Indonesian authorities and the Indonesian criminal justice system post the Corby sentencing and in any appeal by Ms Corby’s legal team?
At the beginning of this article I included what Judge Saleh wrote of the “Australian Police Chief’s” recommendations to the President Yudhoyono.
To remind readers, Judge Saleh in seeking a presidential decree for either a sentence reduction and preferably freedom for Ms Corby wrote to President, ”Even the Australian Police Chief sent a recommendation saying Corby is an educated and honoured citizen with no prior record of crime, including narcotics.” What choice would any “Australian Police Chief” have in light of everything before them – some of it released through Freedom of Information and other information still suppressed – other than to no longer further stand in the way of Ms Corby’s freedom. It appears he is trying to right a wrong, but his effort is not enough.
In previous articles I have declared my own earlier public stands last year when I discovered that the Australian Government was pushing for a secret people swap deal between the Indonesian minors, whom I was working to have freed from Australian adult prisons, and the beleaguered Ms Corby. Neither should have been held hostage for the other, none of this immoral barter of human lives, when it is known they are all innocent. Bureaucratic ramblings, the perceived but skewed national interest arguments and the suite of mistakes by Government and their institutions should never get in the way of what is right. The Government did engage in the push for what was tantamount to a people swap deal, though then Foreign Minister Bob Carr effectively denied this at the time. They engaged in this conversation with Indonesian because they know Ms Corby is innocent and that indeed our airports services are compromised, as has been repeatedly exposed very recently and again and again over the last decade and longer.
Mid last year, the ABC 7:30 Report carried some of my claims. You can watch the episode:
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.
On Christmas Day just passed, Ms Corby stayed in her prison cell. She did not leave her cell even for visitors. I have been told that Ms Corby sent her Christmas messages to family and friends. She is frightened and struggling. “She is struggling to hold on, and this may need a recalibration of her medication,” said one of those closest to Ms Corby. Ms Corby has been visited by a well-respected Australian psychiatrist – Dr Jonathan Phillips – who like Mr Moss was strangely doubted by some in the mainstream media after he confirmed her poor state of mind – and its continuing deterioration. It is my own experience as a researcher in custodial systems, that in general people come out of prison worse than they went in, and for those wrongly convicted, other than the resilience born from the fact of their innocence, it is my experience that in general they deteriorate mentally faster than other prisoners.
Dr Phillips said, “It is impossible to properly articulate the trauma and suffering Schapelle Corby has endured. The turmoil has been such that it has rendered her mentally ill and at serious risk of short term death.”
“Schapelle has remained strong for so long, holding on day after day in hope and belief that justice and truth would prevail. Bewildered, confused, but keeping faith in humanity and clinging desperately to past memories and the love of her family. But year after year it has become harder and harder, as her mental strength has been worn down.”
You can read the eye opening report on Ms Corby’s deterioration as assessed by Dr Phillips and some of the impacts of the disturbing treatment of her by others, here. It is a must read.
Dr Phillips credentials are impeccable, and his independence unquestionable. He has been an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales and at James Cook University and a clinical Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide. He is a past chairperson of the Medical Specialist Review Council, past chairperson of the Committee of Presidents of Australian Medical Colleges and a former president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and has been a consultant to the World Health Organisation.
Ms Corby is innocent. She was an unwitting drugs mule. The majority of the Australian media does need to do its job in bringing on the truth, despite some thus far sickening literature and very cheap journalism put out there to tragically sensationalise and to ignorantly presume rather than to genuinely investigate and understand. I am hoping that the news media will come good on Ms Corby and right some of their own wrongs, especially after all the conversations I have had with them this last week. It appears unlikely Ms Corby will be released by 2016 but we have to move heaven and earth to have her released this year, and I believe this is now at least possible. In light of even these articles alone by me in recent weeks, they have been read by everyone in the know including the Indonesian Government. My sources in the Indonesian Government tell me that if enough awareness can be raised in the Australian media of what really did happen, of the extent of corruption in Australian airport services – as the WikiLeaks’ Stratfor email describes – and that if the Australian Government owns up to the fact of trafficking within our airports then Ms Corby will be released this year.
When this occurs we can then get to the restitution of Ms Corby’s reputation, subsequent calls for just compensation from the Australian Government for the damage done to this person and to those around her, and importantly it should arise that more can be invested in doing much more about the corruption in Australian airport services.
We have Judge Saleh, Mr Primorac, Mr Moss and Dr Phillips on the same page, but we now need to get the Australian Government on that very page – and to tell the truth.
More to come.