Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby

Update: Guilty. We live blogged the verdict listening to an Australian tv network's webcast and live feed of the two hour reading here.

Update: We'll be bumping this post until the verdict is read Friday morning in Bali. Latest news article. Live reporter's blog will be here. Watch this video chronicling case from arrest to now. This is the prison where she is being held.

If she's convicted, an immediate appeal will be filed. Schapelle has a letter prepared for the Indonesian President asking for a pardon.

Schapelle Corby finds out today whether she will be acquitted or sentenced to death or life in prison, when three judges render a decision in a case in which she is charged with smuggling less than 10 pounds of marijuana into Indonesia while en route to Bali for a vacation.

Corby's defense has claimed all along that baggage handlers in Australia planted the drugs in Corby's luggage as part of a bungled domestic smuggling operation - and that the drugs were never meant to arrive in Indonesia at all....Questions are being asked as to why there were no fingerprints taken from the bag that contained 9 pounds of marijuana the moment it was discovered in the student's boogie bag in Denpasar airport.

She tried to tell the judges, but it fell on deaf ears.

Alleged marijuana smuggler Schapelle Corby's emotional final plea of innocence was delivered to a bench of apparently unmoved judges, one of whom did not understand her address while another read a book.

Reports are Schapelle is "very stressed." Who wouldn't be? The Australian Government has submitted a prisoner exchange treaty to Indonesia, but it's not in effect yet and there are indications that the Indonesian Government would not look favorably upon singling Schapelle out for special treatment by allowing her to return to Australia ahead of other prisoners.

Nevertheless, attempts may be made to do that. Don't hold your breath.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa said the transfer plan was a slippery slope. "If we make a special arrangement in this case an argument might be made when other cases come up by the loved ones of people who get into trouble."

A non-scientific poll at Dontshootschapelle shows that 99.95% of Australians believe her to be innocent.

There may be a death threat against her, and Indonesian authorities have promised to protect her. Ron Bakir, the Queensland Australian businessman who has financed her defense reports on their jail visit yesterday:

"She's in pretty bad shape, as you can imagine. It's a big day tomorrow for her," he said on the Channel 9 today. "She's very nervous. Very, very nervous. You sit and talk to her and she's shaking permanently throughout the conversation."

Her divorced parents and sister are on site. Her father made the trip a few weeks ago despite being terminally ill with cancer.

Some things her lawyers haven't told her: The three judges hearing her case have never acquitted anyone on drugs charges.

"We haven't told her that because she's under enough strain," he said.

One columnist in Australia, after noting the difficulty, if not impossibility, of one government intervening in the affairs of another, opined:

The Corby trial also brings into focus the advantages of bilateral treaty arrangements between Australia and the countries of the region - and perhaps elsewhere as well - which would allow for the nationals of one country to serve out any prison sentence in their home country. This mutual co-operation between countries is common in Europe and has been implemented recently between Australia and Thailand.

This process should continue and broaden, so Australians in the prisons of other countries, including Indonesia, would have the possibility of being returned to much more familiar surroundings close to their family and support network. From a "rehabilitation" viewpoint of justice, this is also a much preferred arrangement.

Naturally, such agreements would operate on a reciprocal basis and may not be applicable in every situation, though it would give hope to those in desperate circumstances. The plight of Corby has captured the imagination of many Australians. We must learn from this to ensure every possible legal and diplomatic effort is made to support all Australians facing trial overseas.

Corby is praying for a miracle. TalkLeft hopes she's acquitted. I checked the world clock and the time difference to Bali appears to be 14 hours. I'll try to follow the verdict, but if you see it first, put it in the comments.

And on a related note, check out the Bali Nine, 9 Australians, as young as 18, facing the death penalty after a recent arrest for smuggling heroin into Bali. While they may not have the innocence claims of Schappelle, the use of the death penalty shows that Indonesia remains a truly backwards country.

I have refused to travel to Singapore ever since they caned the teenager some years back. Barring a miracle for Schappelle, Bali will be added to my list. That's okay, the beaches in Southern Thailand are terrific, and I've been looking for an excuse to visit the Seychelles and Mauritius.

Free Schapelle.

Update: If you are online:

National Nine News online will stream live audio from her Denpasar courtroom, translated, here from 12.30pm AEST.

The station will also have a live blogger at the courthouse.

May 23...Five days from the verdict, National Nine News now has its full complement in Bali to cover the event. Three reporters, five camera operators and assistants, plus three Indonesian helpers and a translator. We learn our live coverage has been extended to begin at 11.30am AEST.

The station is the only one allowed the Judge is allowing inside the courtroom. You can watch a video of the case from arrest to judgment day here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#1)
    by The Heretik on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:20 PM EST
    Stories of injustice need a human face if anything is to be made right. The faceless are easily forgotten. Thank you for putting a face on this tragedy. With a hope this will turn out right.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:20 PM EST
    I'm writing from Australia. I think the matter of Ms Corby's innocence is far less cut and dried than you suggest. That's not presuming she's guilty, but you seem to have prejudged the matter. You may be interested in some discussion of the issue among Australian bloggers and commenters at my blog.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:20 PM EST
    Guess which "civilized nation" put pressure on Indonesia to enact very tough anti-drug laws.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:20 PM EST
    Sounds like Texas.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#5)
    by roger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:20 PM EST
    We have judges who send e-mail and play video games during trials. I'm saving my outrage for my own neighborhood

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:20 PM EST
    You might want to rethink this: "That's okay, the beaches in Southern Thailand are terrific," According to Amnesty: "Some 900 people were reported to be under sentence of death, many held continuously in shackles." in Thailand.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:21 PM EST
    I wish her luck, she's gonna need it. And if it doesn't go well for her, there is always karma for judges who order for the murder of a person over plants.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:22 PM EST
    You are mistaken about a few things. First, you say you'll avoid Bali because of the death penalty and go to Thailand instead. Thailand has the death penalty for smuggling too! Second, don't panic. They are not going to kill her. Prosecutors decided weeks ago not to ask for the death penalty, and the judges are sensitive to Australian opinion and the importance of Australian tourism to Bali. Third, you say "Free Schapelle." I don't want to see her shot either, but that doesn't mean she should be free. The Australian public has been hoodwinked by this telegenic and sympathetic girl. Chances are, she's guilty.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:22 PM EST
    "Chances are" wouldn't cut it in the U.S. where the burden of proof is "beyond a reasonable doubt." The death penalty is a possible option for the judges. They are not bound by the prosecutor's recommendation of life in prison. They could give less, or they could impose death by firing squad. As to Thailand, I can't recall a recent case where a tourist was tried for a relatively small amount (9 poiunds) of marijuana and given a life sentence. Can you point me to one? Heroin is not marijuana. Yes, I think she should be freed with time served for this offense. In the U.S., in the federal system, 9 pounds of pot would bring a 10 to 16 month sentence. Even that's too much.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:22 PM EST
    TL, you're being very charitable...let Blagh say it for you... W.C.- only a damned fool would advocate locking someone up because "chances are" they were guilty. What if it were you? Would you accept sitting in a jail cell, innocent as the day you were born, for the next 20 years because some twit convinced others that it was just because "chances were" you did it? Probably not, eh? Then shut up.

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:23 PM EST
    Blaghdaddy, You could use some weed yourself. Calm down, you spastic. I never said people should be locked up on a "chances are" standard. "Chances are" is the only understanding that you and I and TalkLeft have of the case. The authorities have a lot more evidence. And it's cultural imperialism to impose your sentencing standards on other countries. Obviously, to us the sentence seems draconian. What do you want to do, invade Indonesia and impose American law?

    Re: Judgment Day for Schapelle Corby (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:26 PM EST
    it's cultural imperialism to impose your sentencing standards on other countries Indonesia had its sentencing standards imposed on it as part of the USA's "war on drugs". Arms were twisted. And yes, cultural imperialism is deplorable.