Hunting Schapelle Corby

Our record in matters of Australians exposed to the brutality of Indonesia's justice system really is alarming.For starters, we refuse to deport non-Australians who may be executed for their crime in their own country, yet our Federal Police were instrumental in having the Bali Nine arrested in Indonesia where the same police knew they faced the very real prospect of execution.The model Michelle Leslie created a furore in Australia when she swapped skimpy clothes for a hijab to claim Muslim status and a lenient sentence for drug use in Bali. It was an issue that she had offended Muslims in Australia, not that her claim to be a Muslim appeared improperly to have won her leniency from both the prosecutor and the judge.And now, as I write in my column in The Herald, we have Australian Commonwealth prosecutors winning orders in Australian courts to confiscate royalties for a book written by Schapelle Corby. They've seized $128,000 and have just been denied by Indonesian courts access to a further $280,000.Our prosecutors sought this confiscation despite the fact that Ms Corby was not given a fair trial in Indonesia and that by any measure was convicted by a system that is corrupt and otherwise unacceptable in Australia. The court granted the application for confiscation despite the Proceeds of Crime law allowing the courts to take into account any matters it saw fit.Under Indonesia's justice system the onus was on Ms Corby to prove that she was innocent, that she knew nothing of the marijuana in her boogie board bag. She was presumed to be guilty until she proved her innocence. The chief judge in her trial declared his hand when he boasted during the trial that in 500 cases involving drugs he had never acquitted anyone. That alone marks the trial as unfair.There were many other issues that would have in Australia thrown the prosecution case into reasonable doubt. And not even the shocking revelations since of drug smuggling among some Australian airport baggage handlers has won any support from our government and authorities for a fair trial for Ms Corby.This is not a question of whether you or I think Ms Corby is guilty. That is entirely irrelevant. It is not even a question of whether she received a fair trial - that is beyond question.It is a question of whether our Proceeds of Crime legislation should apply to Australians who have not been found by Australia's measure to have committed a crime.What are you thoughts? And, remember, you don't know whether Ms Corby is guilty or not guilty.

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