Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Chapelle Corby etc.
I feel I must write my views about this unfortunate state of events in Bali: When Chapelle was first arrested, her guilt started out as self evident. Her own piece of luggage under her control had the drugs in it. As it turns out over the course of the trial, considerable doubts are thrown up especially regarding motive and alternate theories as to how the "stuff" got to be in her possession. This throws up an intense dillemma for the Indonesian judiciary. If they find her not guilty due to reasonable doubt, there is a considerable loss of face (which can't be underestimated with SE Asian countries), not to mention likely copy-cat defendants riding with similar arguments. If they find her guilty, this may well irretrievably harm the Australian-Indonesian relationship, which seemed to be going rather well of late. However, with the arrest of the "Bali 9", there has been a considerable face-saver. Now the judiciary can afford to make an example of the Bali 9 (or at least the ringleaders) while being able to be maximally lenient (or find her outright not guilty) with Chapelle's case. I don't think that the arrest of the Bali 9 is a coincidence. The Australian Federal Police were well aware of the predicament of their relationship with the Indonesians. The final result may well be a win all round, with a considerable deterrent effect against the smuggling of drugs through a number of Asian areas, and a drop off of supplies to Australia, while allowing reason to prevail when there is "reasonable doubt".