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Schapelle Update 07 Nov 2005
Thanks to some very dedicated supporters a number of vital questions have been raised concerning the judicial process that convicted Schapelle Corby of drug trafficking in Bali. These points were forwarded immediately to Mercedes Corby in the hope that it might somehow assist Schapelle's legal defence in the next High Court appeal.

Mercedes responded today and confirmed the points have been investigated and will be incorporated, amongst other evidence, in future representations to the judicial body in Indonesia.

Thank you to all those who are continuing to support Schapelle in her fight for freedom. We fear everyday for her continued well being but we know that she will never give up! Please keep your letters of support going to her in Kerobokan Prison and appeal to the Australian Government so that they know you all still care.

Our heartfelt appreciation continues to go out to Mr. Hotman Paris Hutapea and Mr. Erwin Siregar and associates who are continuing to meet the challenges of the legal process. We are encouraged by their vigilance.

Thank you.
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In the Indonesian Judicial Article 158 – clearly states: 'a judge is prohibited from showing by his attitude or by a remark during the trial whether or not he thinks the defendant is guilty.

Judge Linton Sirat told reporters many times that Schapelle had not shown enough proof of her innocence and that if he gave her a high sentence that the Australian public would be angry and if he gave her a low sentence or acquitted her every one would think that he had taken a bribe. He also said things like "crying doesn’t please me" and that "Schapelle’s testimony wasn’t strong enough". Did Judge Linton Sirat break the law of article 158 with his comments?

Article 199 (1) (b) – A defendant can be acquitted on the grounds of insufficiency of proof (bebas).

Article 183 – A criminal charge is proved when the judge is convinced that the criminal act has really been committed and that it is the defendant who is guilty of perpetrating it, based on at least two pieces of evidence.

The judge based his decision entirely on indisputable evidence that the marijuana was found in her boogie board bag; and on the disputed testimony of two customs officers and two police officers based on her alleged actions and responses. The customs officers and police testimonies however, were rife with inconsistencies. There was no proof ... only accusations. The officers did not even take photo’s or video record their findings. Why did they not process Schapelle properly as one would expect? How can a person be convicted on hearsay?

Article 51 – The suspect or defendant has the right to be clearly informed in a language he understands about what has been presumed about him at the start of an examination or the charges brought against him: a formulation which already implies the right to assistance of an interpreter.

Article 54 and Article 56 (1) – The right to legal aid lasts throughout the whole proceedings whenever the defendant is interrogated, from the beginning of the preliminary examination by the police interrogator to the trial, and at every stage.

Article 69 and Article 70 (1) – If the suspect has been arrested or detained, the legal adviser in turn has the right to be present and to speak with his client whenever he is being questioned, from the moment of arrest or detention and at all stages of the proceedings

Schapelle did not have any legal counsel at the first interrogation at Denpasar Airport. She also did not have an interpreter at the airport and customs office. Was this first interrogation counted as the "preliminary interrogation"? If the answer is yes, then these regulations were breached. If the answer is No, why did the court accept the claims of the customs officials that Schapelle confessed to owning the drugs and that she said it was "marijuana."

In addition, when Mercedes Corby went to the customs office, the Police wanted her to sign forms but she said 'NO!'

Mercedes Corby requested a lawyer as Schapelle had done and for the Australian consulate to be contacted. But the Police argued that a lawyer wasn't needed; and that she could get one the next day. This was despite the fact that the police were asking Schapelle questions when clearly, Schapelle was in no state to be interrogated.

Article 159 (2) and Article 160 (1) – Witnesses are obliged to appear and can be brought before the court if they do not appear. But it is left to the chairman of the court to decide whether or not he will order a witness who remains absent to be brought before the court.

Article 168 – Under some circumstances, witnesses have a right to refuse to give evidence. Persons who can invoke professional privilege are broadly described as those who are obliged to guard a secret because of their occupation, dignity and prestige or function.

Did former Police Chief, Bambang Sugiarto, invoke this privilege when he refused to give evidence? If he did, what valid reasons did he give to the court when he had already publicly announced on SCTV that the prosecutions case had only been 50% investigated! If he did not use article 168, so not to give evidence in court, why did the judges not order him to be brought before the court?

Article 182 (6) – Doubt has to be construed in favour of the defendant in the sense that if, during the final deliberation of the court after the examination has been closed, neither unanimous agreement nor a majority vote can be realized, the decision of the court has to be based on the judge’s opinion which is most advantageous to the defendant.

Who cut the bag containing the marijuana? It was already cut when Schapelle first opened the bag at the airport. Customs officers have denied cutting it open but the judges did not ask any more questions as to who cut the bag. The bag was cut. Someone had to cut it but who. Who indeed had access to the bag? Not Schapelle... she had checked the bag in good repair.

Four bags were checked in at Brisbane airport under the name Corby. On Schapelle’s airline ticket there were 4 baggage claim tags. Police only weighed the boogie board bag and did not weigh or even search the other 3 bags. If the police would of kept all the bags (evidence). Then the total weight could have been known. The total weight of all 4 bags was 65kg at the time of check in at Brisbane Airport. This could have been the evidence needed to prove Schapelle's innocence!

The Judges dismissed the evidence of James, Katrina and Alyth who all saw Schapelle pack her boogie board bag before going to the Brisbane airport and confirmed that there was no marijuana inside the bag. Alyth also testified that she had witnessed the customs officer taking James away to the room with James carrying the boogie board bag; and that Schapelle was left at the customs counter by herself. However, the Customs officers tell a different version of events.

Schapelle said that when she entered the room, the contents of the boogie board bag were already on the counter but she did not see the flippers. These were packed inside the bag. Where are they now?

In an Australian court most of these points would be more than enough for a judge or jury to dismiss the case based on reasonable doubt. Serving time in any jail is a nightmare, serving time in an Asia jail is a horror, but serving time in a jail, Asian or not, when you are innocent is a whole other torture in itself... bring Schapelle home!

Right the Wrong!

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