07 October 2009

Schapelle Corby -- What Matters Now?

I have written a few posts over the life of this blog about Schapelle Corby and her conviction and subsequent sentencing to 20 years in a Balinese prison. In many of these posts there has been some discussion of events as they unfold. However, it was one particular post on Robin Tampoe and the fact that he had been struck off the Roll of Legal Practitioners for divulging privileged client information.

The Tampoe post has attracted some 490 comments. Quite a number of those have been personal attacks on myself and some other posters. It has included quite a number of anonymous comments and a lot of people using pseudonyms, both in and of themselves not problematic. However, to launch personal attacks from behind a supposed veil of anonymity is not in the spirit of open and free discussion.

Nevertheless, the post has given rise to some interesting issues as people have sort to rehash the evidence in support of Schapelle's innocence. The evidence has also been rehashed in an attempt to debunk my statement and belief that Schapelle Corby is guilty. The reality, like it or not, is that Schapelle Corby has been convicted in an Indonesian court of law, and the conviction has stood the test of the appeal process. So, the reality is that she is guilty.

There are no appeals left in this process. What is left is an appeal for clemency.

Rather than make a detailed post on the issues, I pose the following questions?

1. Is there any benefit in revisiting and rehashing the evidence when the appeal process is complete? (What remains is an appeal for clemency or pardon)

2. Can, or should, Australian principles of common law be applied to the Indonesian civil law system? (Perhaps, and particularly, whether Australians arrested overseas have the same rights that they would be entitled to in Australia with respect to a trial by virtue of their Australian citizenship)

3. Should the focus be on proving that the guilty verdict is flawed under Indonesian and International law, or must the focus be on the best interests of Schapelle Corby with respect to obtaining treatment for her mental illness?

4. Can you be a supporter of Schapelle Corby without having a position on her innocence or guilt, or believing that she is guilty but that she does not deserve the punishment she has been given or deserve to suffer in the way that she apparently is?

I am not sure that there will be many comments in response to these questions. To be honest most of my posts only draw one or two comments. There are only a handful of posts that have drawn more than 20 comments.

Nevertheless, responses to these questions should make interesting reading.


Robert J Halligan said...

You fucking moron. The reality is not that she is guilty, the reality is that she was convicted. Do you understand the difference?

You may delete the expletive if you choose to publish this.

Meanwhile a woman dies a slow death because she couldn't prove her innocence.

Sleep well.

pj said...

Hi Rob

I see that the pro shapelle crowd have quit rehashing the same tired points and have gone straight on to the insults.

Too bad their energy is not directed towards making corbys time in prison as pleasant as possible.

Rob Baiton said...

Robert J Halligan...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Comments are always appreciated, even when they are less than favourable with regards to my intelligence or lack thereof.

I guess that you are referring to the idea that sometimes people are convicted of crimes that they did not commit.

Indeed they are.

It happens more often than it should, particularly when one considers that an innocent person should never be convicted, and would not be in a perfect world. But, it happens, and that is a reality.

Do I understand the difference (with respect to the distinction I think you are trying to make)? Yes.

I have thought about giving you the run down on the etymology, but I figure based on your comments that you are a pretty smart fella. So, I will just whack in this link to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online) and leave it at that:


With all due respect (something which you fail to show me), the reality is in fact that Schapelle Corby has been convicted and she is guilty.

If I am not mistaken the decision handed down by the court does not say that "we find the accused innocent but we convict her anyway."

I think in the context of the whole post, there is discussion of both guilt and conviction. However, to each their own.

Nope, why would I want to delete the expletive or your comment as a whole. In any event, I have been called worse. You are entitled to your opinion. But, in the big scheme of things your comment is water off a duck's back.

I am disappointed though. I pose four specific questions and you have not answered, not even attempted to answer, any of them.

She is not the only person in jail in this big bad world of ours who maintains that they are innocent of a crime that they have been convicted of having committed. Hence the questions I posed and the answers you failed to provide.

I sleep pretty well. Thanks.

Rob Baiton said...


I would like to say that it is not representative of the Schapelle Corby supporter base, but they should probably come and do that for themselves.

It is strange (and sad) that their energies are directed in this way.

Jacqui said...

Not to mention they always complain about the nasty comments from those who say she is guilty. Way to go (sigh).

belajar bahasa ingris said...

Mr. Robert J Halligan, honestly i think YOU and PEOPLE of YOUR KIND is the smartest people in the world and i think you should run the world mister.

with the quality brain and wisdom that you have, You should be able to bring schapelle corby home through the right channel (Indonesian Court) mister.

I am sure you will be able to do that if you try, even though the REALITY is that she is GUILTY, You and People of your kind should be able to change that to suit your interest. what ever the true is, you can create them.

the key is just you have to do it in Indonesian Court.the problem is this indonesian / barbaric peoples. they only want to use their terrible system to do the business. whatever REALITY must be created through Indonesian Law system.

But i think you already know that mister.

because you and people of your kind is the smartest people in the world.

have a nice day mister

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for leaving a comment on this one. I do actually know some supporters of Schapelle that are more interested in the "what's next" rather than focusing their energies on what has past and is most likely not to change.

It is a little bizarre that some who claim to be supporters focus their energies in tracking down blogs and websites with a view to setting the "record straight."

What I have been saying all along is that at this point in time, the guilt or innocence is a matter of fact reality in the sense that the Indonesian courts have determined that issue. So, why not focus the energies on the more immediate issue of Schapelle's mental illness and the need for a comprehensive treatment regime.

Oh well.

Rob Baiton said...


It is all about focusing on the issues at hand where some positive contributions can be made.

Mr. Halligan is entitled to his opinion. That is the nature of the world. Sometimes being aggressive and not focusing on the issues means the chance of finding a solution to the "problem" will not be found, at least not quickly.

How is the English language study going? Probably learned a few good words here so far ;)

lawky said...

I am a little surprised at your take on this matter. Surely one should never give up the quest to achieve an acquital or pardon if one believes in innnocence. This is one's right. You seem to strangely (blithely?) accept the decision as correct, at least for now, and to advocate taking the focus on the outcome of the trial and judicial process. It would seem strange that a lawyer would have appeal fatigue??

Now I have only read about 10% of what you have written on Corby. But as I said before, we do have the Chamberlain case still fresh in our minds, dont we?? or do you still think the dingo did it??

I may have you wrong; and Im not taking sides on this one. Just a comment aja.

Kay Danes said...

Yes you can be a supporter of Schapelle Corby without having a position on her innocence or guilt. Many people supported the repatriation of Australian David Hicks from Guantanamo detention centre, and did not take a position on his guilt or innocence. This was a very high profile case, and an excellent example of how best to navigate the diplomatic, media, and foreign judicial minefield.

DG said...

This might be of interest you all.

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for answering one of the questions.

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment and a link.

I am checking the link out now and trying to listen to the podcast.

Rob Baiton said...


Surprised? Really? :D

A have argued that a pardon is a possibility. However, generally, clemency in the Indonesian context a clemency would require some admission of guilt.

My understanding is that Schapelle will never admit guilt to any degree.

I am not arguing that one stops arguing or fighting for an acquittal.

I do really enjoy when people put words into my mouth and then pass them off as truth. Schapelle's supporters use this tactic all the time, to deride anyone with a contrary opinion to theirs.

I do not accept blithely that the decision is correct. This is such an over-simplification of my argument.

Once again, I have argued that the prosecutors satisfied the burden incumbent upon them, the court was satisfied, and Schapelle was convicted. Therefore, in the eyes of the Indonesian courts and law, she is guilty.

I have been involved in none of the appeals, so it is hardly appeal fatigue.

The Lindy Chamberlain case is interesting, but be more explicit with what you see as the connection to the Corby case. If the dingo didn't do it, then why is she free? ;)

My view would be that if there is new evidence to be heard then this would be a better option with a view to getting the case reopened. The rehashing of most of what has been said to date on the Tampoe thread are "facts" or "evidence" that were available at the time and dismissed or not heard at trial or appeal.

This, if anything, begs for an innocence type project.

However, the most recent posts I have done on Schapelle Corby have been focusing on going forward. What happens now considering the most recent developments with respect to her mental illness.

Kay Danes said...

Just a few facts on Clemency. Note that the Indonesian Government are not obliged to grant clemency to anyone... no matter how well the submission is written, or how convincingly the prisoner is in need of repatriation.

One of the difficulties with seeking a clemency or a Pardon is that the applicant must meet a certain criteria. Included in these stipulations, the prisoner must show genuine remorse and good behaviour. This is generally gauged over a period of time through reports from the prison commander. Unfortunately, Schapelle's own Doctor Thong, was quoted in the media recently saying "she causes so much trouble and makes extra work for them" - referring to the prison guards. This will most likely be a consideration when the Prison commander files his report.

Also, the Indonesian Govt will require an apology from the prisoner, and an acceptance of the court finding. It is usually a foregone conclusion that the prisoner must admit guilt, otherwise, how else can they express remorse. However, a good lawyer might be able to work around this (if the Indonesian Government are motivated to engage this option) through a 'form of words' designed to appease the Indonesians. ie: "I accept the court made a decision that found me guilty" & "I am sorry for the impact my case has had on Indonesia". However, this is rarely applied to drug cases and particularly to one so high profile and contentious. This method is usually reserved for political cases whereby the matter is seriously jeopardizing bilateral relations, trade agreements etc...

The Indonesian Government may stipulate the payment of compensation as part of clemency, and then there's the actual process of exiting the country. ie: If the prisoner is deported then the conviction may remain in place. There are many differences between a Pardon, a Pardon with conditions, and Clemency. The one thing they all have in common however, is that they are complex and are often likened to winning lotto. You have to be very fortunate!

SWH said...

I can't see why you can't see the irony in your reply to Lawky. He asks do you believe a dingo took the baby. Under your logic Rob, Lindy Chamberlain was guilty and should be still in gaol, because the court found her guilty with flawed evidence.
Schapelle was found guilty with flawed evidence, tampered evidence and a complete refusal to admit evidence that COULD have proved 100% guilt or innocence.
Convicted yes Guilty no.

Rob Baiton said...



Even a carefully crafted / worded apology might not be enough in this case.

My belief is that there would need to be an admission of guilt and a show of genuine remorse. If not, I do not see a pardon or clemency of any kind in the near future.

Oh well.

Rob Baiton said...


Nope. Once again, people are trying to put things in there that just are not there.

Nope, under my logic, Lindy Chamberlain was found guilty, did time, appealed, and appealed, and appealed some more. Then, a court was satisfied that there was a flaw, and then she was released. Is that how it went (I really did not follow the release phase all that closely)?

This is not the same in the Corby case. The appeal process is done. What remains is clemency.

If the case is to be reopened then there would need to be "new" evidence made available that brings into doubt the original verdict. This is not a rehashing of the evidence to date that was admitted or not admitted. Any new evidence needs to be presented in an Indonesian court.

This, whether you think it fair or not, is a case that is under the jurisdiction of the Indonesian courts. All new evidence and the like must be presented pursuant to their rules of procedure.

I guess your response partly answers one of the questions, any views on the other questions?

lawky said...

Rob you wrote:

the Tampoe thread are "facts" or "evidence" that were available at the time and dismissed or not heard at trial or appeal.

If such evidence was wrongly dismissed or not heard you would have to agree this is a sad result. And it seems that new evidence is not on the horizon. Where to from here??

As for Chamberlain I only mean that this was a clear miscarriage of justice, as there maybe was in the Corby case. Appeals were no use to Chamberlain - the royal commission was necessary. Is there such a thing here?

thanks for your reply as always.

Rob Baiton said...

Anyone interested in commenting.

I have posed four specific questions in this post.

Please place your comments within the context of one or all four questions.


Rob Baiton said...


The closest you might get to a Royal Commission is if the DPR was to set up some form of parliamentary investigation, maybe.

A parliamentary investigation might gain some support with some evidence that the judges were on the take or something. The idea that the Corby case is a grand conspiracy between the Indonesian and Australian governments probably would not gain sufficient traction for a parliamentary inquiry.

The appeals were of use in the Chamberlain saga. They were so, because ultimately there was enough come out through the process that there were sufficient issues raised that brought into doubt the original conviction.

However, for a number of reasons I have expressed why I do not think this will play out in the same way for Schapelle. Paramount among those would be Indonesia is a different jurisdiction, different rules, and to date there is little support for the arguments rehashing the evidence.

Simply, the majority of Indonesians remain unconvinced that there has been a miscarriage of justice.

If the evidence was wrongly dismissed or there was an error in not hearing it at trial, this would conceivably have been entertained in the appeals process. And, the appeal would have overturned the original conviction.

The appeals all affirmed the initial conviction. There was some moderation on sentence, with the sentence ultimately being confirmed at 20 years.

As I have said all along, I do not see the Indonesians throwing up their hands and saying that we were wrong, we cheated on the evidence, we were part of a conspiracy, oops you got us, so Schapelle is free to go.

The continual arguing of the evidence seems to have limited value, at least to my mind.

Yes, this is the question that I posed in the post. Where to from here?

On the release front. The most obvious would seem to be clemency and most likely a pardon. I do not see a pardon in the sense of a wiping the slate clean, we got it wrong, you are free to go with out sincerest apologies.

A conditional pardon, maybe. But, I think this will require an admission of guilt and a show of genuine remorse.

I would not see any other forms of clemency getting a run at the moment.

I am being pestered over on the Tampoe thread about an insanity plea and what might have happened if one was made originally. I do not see the value of running through the hypotheticals on that. She did not plead that way, so it does not matter. In any event, it is not like she can rewind the clock and plead insanity now.

So, this is the reason I posed the questions that I did.

SWH asked why I could not see the irony. Because there isn't any. I would add there that a conviction requires the court to make a finding of guilt.

Kay Danes said...

Article 2 of the Indonesian Law relevant to Pardons states that the prisoner must wait 2 years before submitting a subsequent application in the event the pardon fails!

One copy of the petition is submitted to the lower court that decided the case in the first instance and then to be passed to the Supreme Court.

Generally within 20 (twenty) days after that, the lower court sends the copy of the petition and the documents of the case to the Supreme Court.

Within 3 months, the Supreme Court is to submit its recommendations to the President.

The President shall make the decision on a petition for pardon after considering the recommendations of the Supreme Court and may either grant or refuse the pardon, doing so within 3 months

A copy of the decision is usually then sent to the Supreme Court, the the lower Court that initially decided the case in the first instance, the Office of public prosecutor that has prosecuted the case; and the Prison where the convicted serves their sentence.

The granting of pardon does not constitute an intervention of the President into judicial matters, but is the prerogative right of the President to grant a pardon. Although the granting of pardon may alter, reduce, or abolish a sentence imposed by the court, it does not erase the committed crime and is also not a rehabilitation for the convict.

oigal said...

"You fucking moron." ???
Would it be too easy to draw the link to the "corrupt monkeys" comment which was the other classic support phrase from the shallow end of the corby supporter gene pool?

Rob Baiton said...



nuff said on that one!


belajar bahasa Inggris said...

selamat siang Pak Rob.

My English is Bahasa Inggris Jalanan just like i am, so i don't expect too much.

i am headache and confused when i read about schapelle corby case

may be she is not guilty but end up in Indonesian jail because all the evidence that available left the judge with no choice other than verdict GUILTY

or may be she is actually guilty but maintain her innocence because she saw false hope how to get away with it. by trying to take advantage from what she thought the weakness of Indonesian side. for example by telling that Indonesian custom official English is not good, no camera in airport and about finger print. etc

trying to undermine the fact that even people who don't speak English at all like dumb people, still can testify in court if witnessing crime that happen right in front of his eyes. same thing apply to camera and finger print.

but that's all may be

fact, she has been convicted and she is guilty,

but even though she is guilty and should serve her sentence in jail. but i am agree for any effort to bring her back to australia.


1.the punishment for her set according to Indonesian standard.for example (the condition of prison toilet,etc).for Indonesian criminals that may be O.K,because average indonesian criminals have tough and less comfort life compare to her.
so when she get same punishment, it is like double punishment for her. but human law is blind and all kind of peoples is same in front of law.

2. for more good than bad reason.
if Indonesia keep her in jail it is for good more than bad reason. to remind peoples that when you do misconduct you get punishment.you doing good you will get reward.

but after knowing her condition, media interest,her supporter,etc. keeping her longer in Indonesia prison will no longer giving more good than bad. especially if anything bad happen to her in indonesia jail, indonesia will get more bad than good.

I think Indonesian Law Enforcer has fulfill their duty to serve its peoples. and Australian govermnent has show some respect by not interfere Indonesia authority.

it is time for indonesia to say to australia
" my friend ozzie,i've done my part, i do what i should do, now i return her to you and hand over my responsibility to you. I trust you know what is the best for her and for your own peoples".

and then australia said" thank you my friend indone, i appreciate that, and instead of big hug, let me by you a drink"

the ending,everybody happy (except few moron) and ms.corby can use normal toilet down under.

that's it

so hows my english Pak Rob, any suggestion for improvement.

if i think again, learn english through insult is much more easier

salam from kampung banyuwangi

Rob Baiton said...


I can understand why you might get confused and get a headache to boot. It is both a difficult and simple case at the same time.

I am sure that her supporters will be pleased that you think it is time for her to head back to Australia.

My view is that under Indonesian law, she is guilty. Her supporters believe that she did not get a fair trial and that her human rights have been violated.

Most of these charges relate to evidence either in the manner that the evidence was collected or not collected, and then what they believe should have been presented at trial and wasn't.

You would believe that she is being held in a pit in the middle of the jungle if you read some of the posts floating around the blogs and forums. The reality is that she is in a cell. The condition of that cell might not be at the same standard as one might expect in Australia, but it is hardly a hell hole in the most extreme form as some would have you believe (You only need to check out some of the photos of Schapelle in her cell to know this).

The cool, calm, collected, and civil way of how you see this ending is not going to be the reality. The most likely scenario is that her Indonesian doctors will again say she is depressed and prescribe more medication. The best case scenario will see her moved from prison to somewhere like Bangli (a hospital that has expertise in mental illness).

There is probably a little bit more to it than her getting to use a sit down toilet rather than a squat.

Sulai said...

The Indonesians are detaining her in better conditions than other countries and even other prisons in Indonesia. To keep complaining about the prison conditions is too offensive to Indonesian authorities. They have a difficult job to do already. So if the other Australians claim to suffer the mental illness, does that mean too that they should be set free?

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Comments are always appreciated.

Some of her supporters seem to think that she is being kept in some sort of hell hole or pit in the middle of nowhere. This is not the case. Her conditions, albeit not to Australian standards (claimed by some), are in many instances much better than elsewhere in Indonesia. I agree, it could be a lot worse.

My position is that if she is depressed to the extent that she is harming herself, then she does need an intervention. This would be moving her to a facility that can provide the necessary care.

My guess would be Bangli.

Kay Danes said...

The media proposed a comparison between Corby and Chamberlain because it would fit in with their 'who dun it' case profile. However, there is little comparison as Rob has already mentioned in regards to due process, civil and common law.

Two full years after her conviction was rejected by the High Court, an item of Azaria's clothing was found partially buried near Uluru in an isolated location, adjacent to a dingo lair. This new evidence was why Lindy Chamberlain was released from prison, five days after the discovery of the matinee jacket.

The Royal Commission occurred after she was released from prison. It was established to investigate the entire matter. Chamberlain's conviction was overturned in September, 1988 and another inquest in 1995 returned an open verdict.

An open verdict strictly means that the jury confirms that the death is suspicious but is unable to reach any of the other verdicts open to them. It therefore affirms that a crime has been committed without stating by whom.

This would be a great outcome for Schapelle but I seriously doubt she'll be able to get it.

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for the more detailed explanation. I tend to opt for the simple in some of my explanations and forget that people might not read as much on some of the subjects that I have.

I guess, sometimes being a little more explicit is helpful for the purposes of understanding :D

So, even with an open verdict the dingo couldn't have done it? ;)

On a more serious note, I do not see a Royal Commission on the horizon in this case. What would the terms of reference be?

Would they simply be to retry the case in a manner that her supporters thought it should have been tried in the Indonesian court system the first time around?

If that is the thought pattern on this at the moment, then a RC seems even more unlikely to get off the ground under that scenario.

Interested said...

Timeline of Azaria Chamberlain case:

August 17, 1980: Nine-week-old Azaria Chamberlain disappears from a tent at the Ayers Rock campsite

August 24, 1980: Tourist finds Azaria's torn jumpsuit, booties, singlet and nappy near the rock
December 15, 1980: First coronial inquest opens in Alice Springs

February 20, 1981: Coroner Denis Barritt finds that a dingo killed Azaria but someone unknown had later interfered with her clothes

December 14, 1981: Second inquest begins

February 2, 1982: Azaria's mother Lindy Chamberlain is committed to trial for murder. Lindy's husband Michael Chamberlain is charged as an accessary after the fact

September 13, 1982: Chamberlains' Supreme Court trial begins in Darwin

October 29, 1982: Chamberlains found guilty. Mrs Chamberlain receives mandatory life sentence for murder. Mr Chamberlain released with an 18-month suspended sentence

November 17, 1982: Mrs Chamberlain gives birth to daughter Kahlia in custody but the baby is taken from Mrs Chamberlain at birth

February 7, 1983: Chamberlains appeal

April 19, 1983: Appeal rejected


February 2, 1986: Azaria's missing matinee jacket found at Uluru, supporting the Chamberlain's defence case

February 7, 1986: Mrs Chamberlain is released from prison on remission

June 2, 1987: A royal commission recommends clearing the Chamberlains of all guilt 1987 NT administrator pardons both Chamberlains

September 15, 1988: NT Court of Criminal Appeal quashes all convictions; declares Chamberlains innocent

1992: NT government pays Chamberlains $1.3 million compensation, $396,000 legal costs plus $19,000 for their car which was dismantled for evidence

December 13, 1995: Coroner John Lowndes cannot determine the cause of Azaria's death and the third inquest records an open finding January 2004
Frank Cole contacts the producers of telemovie

Through My Eyes and claims he shot a dingo at Uluru in 1980 and found Azaria in its jaws.

CHAMBERLAIN v. THE QUEEN (No.2) [1984] HCA 7; (1984) 153 CLR 521

Criminal Law - Evidence - Federal Court

In examining the evidence at the appellate level, those questions must be approached on the basis that the jury, whose function it was to determine whether guilt was proved beyond reasonable doubt, decided, after hearing the evidence, that it was.

Involved in the jury's verdict was a rejection of the evidence of the Chamberlains and of the evidence that Azaria was heard to cry after the Crown alleges she was dead.


Doing the best that I can, I have finally come to a firm view that, notwithstanding the jury's verdict of guilty, the evidence did not establish beyond reasonable doubt that Mrs. Chamberlain killed Azaria.

That being so, the verdict that she was guilty of murdering her child is unsafe and unsatisfactory and constituted a miscarriage of justice. It necessarily follows that the evidence failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Chamberlain was guilty of the crime of which he was convicted.

Orders. (at p630)


Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

Also, thank you for the very detailed time line of events and a link to austlii.

Rob Baiton said...


There is also a time line here:


I am not sure that the Chamberlain case is entirely relevant, but as these things are prone to do...off topic we go!

DG said...

Prisoners of a nation's prejudices

June 17, 2005

There are similarities in how Australia reacted to the Chamberlain and Corby cases, writes Anne Summers.

IT WAS probably inevitable that Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton would make contact with Schapelle Corby. After all, Australia's two most celebrated women of crime have a lot of experiences in common. "Seeing your verdict and the reaction to it made me feel like I had been kicked all over again," Chamberlain-Creighton wrote to Corby in her Bali prison last week. "My heart bleeds for you."

Chamberlain-Creighton knows what she's talking about. Until Corby, no other Australian woman had endured the national spotlight in quite the same pitiless way. It changed her and it will change Corby. But it should also tell us something about ourselves and why we as a nation are so willing to insinuate our anxieties and insecurities into the stories of these hapless women.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Opinion/Prisoners-of-a-nations prejudices/2005/06/16/1118869038377.html

.........(Prison will change her, as it changed Chamberlain-Creighton, but Corby's story has become much bigger than just the facts of her case. Regardless of what happens to Corby, she has served a national need for catharsis and retribution. She can never escape this.)

Dingoes in the Dark
Chapter 24

Not off topic Rob......... there are parallels

The media played a large part in turning public opinion against Lindy Chamberlin, the same way they have done with Schapelle Corby.

Kay Danes said...

So much is written about the Chamberlain case... if you see here...(below) it also says one version of the outcome.... in any case, the biggest problem in making comparisons is that Schapelle has been convicted by a foreign court, where Royal Commissions don't really have any effect.

New evidence emerged on February 2, 1986 when a remaining item of Azaria's clothing was found partially buried near Uluru in an isolated location, adjacent to a dingo lair. This was the matinee jacket which the police had maintained for years did not exist. Five days later, Chamberlain was released. The Northern Territory Government publicly said it was because "she had suffered enough." In view of inconsistencies in the earlier blood testing which gave rise to potential reasonable doubts about the propriety of her conviction and as DNA was not as advanced in the early 1980s it emerged that the 'baby blood' found in her car could have been any substance, Lindy Chamberlain's life sentence was remitted by the Northern Territory Government and a Royal Commission began to investigate the matter in 1987. Chamberlain's conviction was overturned in September, 1988 and another inquest in 1995 returned an open verdict.


Rob Baiton said...


Yes, I had read the article before. Question, has there been any others making this link since the Anne Summers article of June 2005?

I have always said that prison will change Schapelle Corby. She will have scars that will never fully disappear.

However, with appropriate intervention and treatment she will live and probably prosper. There are big ifs here and they relate to how matters are handled going forward with respect to clemency.

The parallels are only related to the media coverage? So, your point is that there was a media conspiracy against the Chamberlains as there is against the Corbys?

The fact that LCC wrote to Schapelle is hardly a parallel. So, some elaboration on the parallels you see outside of this one article would be helpful.

Rob Baiton said...


I have posed that question a number of times about the Royal Commission. Particularly, how supporters see the Royal Commission getting a start.

So far, no takers.

Kay Danes said...


Interestingly, Lindy Chamberlain did not actively seek media coverage, and neither, for that matter did Schapelle. But others did and continue to do so, hence why "no other Australian woman had endured the national spotlight in quite the same pitiless way."

Even with all the media deals, TV coverage, books, and serialisation of books and exclusive magazines and interviews, I fail to see how any of this has directly benefited Schapelle in securing leniency (at best).

Chris Parnell is an Australian who spent 11 years in prison in Indonesia. His advice to Schapelle was "conform if she wants to make it out."

I would expect it rather difficult to ask the Indonesians to feel pity for someone when some seem hell bent on slapping them in the face.

Kay Danes said...

I think our posts overlapped. I haven't a clue what grounds they would be contemplating re: RC. Keeping an open mind, I'd really be interested to see evidence of it working elsewhere, in similar circumstances. Chamberlain case is not a good example because that was handled domestically and didn't challenge the laws under sovereignty.

Rob Baiton said...


It would be worth a brief reply if the Royal Commission avenue is being seriously considered.

I have often wondered about who courted the media or whether the media courted the Corbys in the Corby case.

Kay Danes said...

Courting and not courting media. Usually what happens is that you get arrested, then the media find out, and then it's up to you and/or your family on how you proceed.

The media are pretty reasonable if engaged appropriately but that's rather difficult for families who have no experience with the media, let alone an international affair.

Schapelle's unfortunate situation was compounded when the decision was made to blow her matter out in the media, (Tampoe and Bakir). It was ramped up beyond what would have been reasonable and logical in consideration to how foreign internment issues are generally dealt with. They were warned that if they did that, then she'd most likely face a heftier sentence.

Certainly the exclusivity situation wasn't favorable either. Someone thought that by making a spectacle of her plight would help her. Many families of prisoners now take note! Schapelle's case has highlighted a number of lessons that many now use to deter others from making similar choices. I just hope the poor girl gets through this so she can return home!

Jacqui said...

As for why supporters want a Royal Commission, I believe one reason is to find out exactly what happened to the CCTV footage, as the AFP, QANTAS and Brisbane airport all gave different reasons. A Corby friend claimed he asked about the footage shortly after Schapelle was arrested and was told it was available. His video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbPvg620rMg
As for other reasons, I'm going by a letter from Alan Jones printed in "Woman's Day".
He mentions that the Howard Govt did not make available to Corby's legal team an Australian couple's experience in 97 - when they found an airtight bag of mj in their luggage in Bali, & were told by consulate to flush it down the toilet.
Schapelle's lawyers say the AFP refused to send an officer to testify about the problem with baggage handlers and drugs, which they were investigating.

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for leaving a comment on this one.

I am not sure that there is enough to warrant a Royal Commission. I appreciate that there are concerns with respect to the issues / circumstances that you mention. I just wonder whether it is enough to get a Royal Commission off the ground.

I also wonder whether the terms of reference would or could be that narrow. If the terms of reference were much wider then there is conceivably a Pandora's box of "evidence" that might arise.

Finally, I am wondering how the Royal Commission, assuming one ever got off the ground, would assist Schapelle in her current circumstances. It is clear that Indonesia is not bound by the findings of any Royal Commission conducted in Australia.

The Australian government, assuming the findings were favourable for Schapelle, would be compelled to approach the Indonesians and provide the findings.

However, there would be absolutely no obligation incumbent on the Indonesian government to overturn the verdict and release Schapelle, would there?

Kay Danes said...

Similarly with the current complaint lodged by supporters to the Commonwealth Ombudsman about the role of the former Australian Government and the AFP.

Rob Baiton said...


What's the complaint (specifically)?

There might be some readers or passers' by that are not as up-to-date as they might want to be on the periphery of this case.


Shannon said...

Rob said ....

What's the complaint (specifically)?

There might be some readers or passers' by that are not as up-to-date as they might want to be on the periphery of this case.


Kay what is the complaint to the AFP (specifically about)?

I am one of the passers' by Rob is referring to' who would like to be brought up to speed on this issue.

Kay Danes said...

I believe quite a few people have concerns relating to Schapelle's overseas trial, in particular, quite a few have submitted formal complaints ranging from the conduct of the Australian Federal Police, and the so-called lack of action by DFAT, and the allegation that the Australian government failed to independently investigate claims of a so-called unfair Judicial process in an overseas trial. I am told that such complaints have gone to the Commonwealth Ombudsman for investigation.

Rob Baiton said...



Shannon, does that help?

Shannon said...

Rob said......

Shannon, does that help?

Well not really Rob

Kay (believes) there has been submissions of formal complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman how does she know this is fact what evidence is there to say that this has happened.

Can I check anywhere?

Rob Baiton said...


I have nothing to do with the complaint being talked about or anything else that supporters are doing from this end.

I do not know whether you can check it out anywhere or not.

My knowledge of what supporters are pursuing comes from their comments here are the "stuff" I can access online (forums and blogs).

Most of those sources need to be taken with a grain of salt because you can publish any old thing on the Internet. Besides, this is what Schapelle's supporters are claiming about this blog of mine; it is just invalid opinion and any old thing.

Shannon said...

Hi Rob

I have just read your comment back to me thank you.

You say you can not answer my question, sorry but I meant the question for Kay Danes.

Kay you (believe) there has been submissions of formal complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, how do you know this is factual what evidence is there to say that this has happened.

Can I check anywhere?

Kay Danes said...

Hi Shannon,

The persons who have lodged the complaint have visited Rob's blog and I believe they still keep an eye on it, so if they choose to respond to you then great and then you can ask them for the case file number of the lodgment.

Kay Danes said...

You might also want to check out this link where it is being publicly discussed:


Rob Baiton said...


I know and realize this. However, I have posted a link below to the Free Schapelle Forum where there is some discussion of the ombudsman and their role.

The discussion seems to indicate that a submission has been made and that documents are being forwarded to the ombudsman.

Hope this helps.

With respect to actual case files, then maybe it is best to contact those directly involved in pursuing the ombudsman angle.


After Shannon's comment I went back and checked to find out whether it had been discussed on the free schapelle forum. In the most part, the things that get discussed in this blog come from reading other blogs, forums, and other published material.

A search of the term "ombudsman" turns up these results:


Shannon said...

Thank you Kay for your reply, firstly, your first post re the complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman

Kay Danes said...

I believe quite a few people have concerns relating to Schapelle's overseas trial, in particular, quite a few have submitted formal complaints ranging from the conduct of the Australian Federal Police, and the so-called lack of action by DFAT, and the allegation that the Australian government failed to independently investigate claims of a so-called unfair Judicial process in an overseas trial. I am told that such complaints have gone to the Commonwealth Ombudsman for investigation.

19 October 2009 4:31 PM

Kay can you please be more specific with, i - ii - iii

i. quite a few have submitted formal complaints ranging from the conduct of the Australian Federal Police,

ii. the so-called lack of action by DFAT,

iii. allegation that the Australian government failed to independently investigate claims of a so-called unfair Judicial process in an overseas trial.

Rob said....

Kay what is the complaint to the AFP (specifically about)?

Kay Danes said...

Hi Shannon, The persons who have lodged the complaint have visited Rob's blog and I believe they still keep an eye on it, so if they choose to respond to you then great and then you can ask them for the case file number of the lodgment.

20 October 2009 4:29 AM

Kay for what reason did you post this information about the Commonwealth Ombudsman ?

I went to the Corby supporter forum http://www.freeschapelle.com.au/ to see if I could find any reference/chat to the Commonwealth Ombudsman complaints, I could not?

Kay do you know the case file numbers for the Ombudsman complaints?

I would be interested to read what you have to say as would Rob, (specifically about the AFP, Australian Federal Police complaint/s)?

Kay Danes said...

(The persons who have lodged the complaint have visited Rob's blog and I believe they still keep an eye on it)

The only two persons I see with the same names who appear to have something to say on this Blog and on the Corby support forum is a Murray & Jacqui?

How am I able to view this information (Complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman Schapelle Corby)?

Besides ear say on this blog. Jacqui Murray anyone?

Kay Danes said...

(I am told that such complaints have gone to the Commonwealth Ombudsman for investigation.)

Rob Baiton said...


I cannot, obviously, answer the specific questions you pose to Kay.

There are some points I can make though.

A search of the Free Schapelle Forum turned up at least 23 references to the Ombudsman when I checked this morning.

Among those references are indications that there are matters that supporters have forwarded to the Ombudsman for investigation.

As to Free Schapelle Forum members who have visited my blog or who may continue to view it. I know for a fact that more than the two people you mention have been here and commented.

There was also a link at the forum back to my blog (this has since been removed :D). The comments there suggest that more than the two individuals you refer to have been and had a squizz as well.

Once again, the forum suggests that a complaint has been lodged. The following link will take you to a specific reference to a complaint and follow-up "evidence".


Shannon said...

Rob said....

With respect to actual case files, then maybe it is best to contact those directly involved in pursuing the ombudsman angle.

Thank you Rob for the link.

I did the same and found the same as you, plenty of referencing to the Ombudsman but no case file discussions ?

I was anticipating Kay Danes filling us in with more detail, why else did she bring this topic to your blog?

Previously posted
20 October 2009 7:17 AM
I went to the Corby supporter forum http://www.freeschapelle.com.au/ to see if I could find any reference/chat to the Commonwealth Ombudsman complaints - I could not?

Shannon said...

Rob said...

A search of the Free Schapelle Forum turned up at least 23 references to the Ombudsman when I checked this morning.

My Search found 67 matches to the ombudsman

I did visit the link you provided, thank you.

Kay Danes said...

why don't you simply ask the people at the forum? I'm sure they'll be happy to point you in the right direction. There are some good people on there who have posted on Rob's blog... aside from Murray and Jacqui. Don, Nev, SWH, Simba... they're all part of the tactical team (if you like) and are working hard to help free Schapelle. I'm sure they'll be happy to bring new supporters on board, given that it's been five long years and Schapelle needs as many supporters as she can get. Hence why I am at Rob's blog ... to share with the demographic that don't necessarily believe she's innocent but believe five years is too long.

Kay Danes said...

Other links to the Ombudsman complaint....

http://freeschapelle.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2911&p=27699&hilit=ombudsman#p27699 ("News & Information" forum)

http://freeschapelle.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2911&p=27653&hilit=ombudsman#p27653 ("News & Information" forum)

http://freeschapelle.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2612&p=23470&hilit=ombudsman#p23470 ("General Discussions" forum)

http://freeschapelle.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2257&p=23153&hilit=ombudsman#p23153 ("General Discussions" forum)

Shannon said...

Thank you for the links Kay

Rob Baiton said...


I would reckon that the forum would be willing to discuss what they are doing in a general sense with you. Maybe, they would be prepared to go into details.

The forum has a lot of supporters who seem genuinely interested in seeing Schapelle repatriated to Australia. They also have plenty of people keen to discuss the evidence. So, perhaps the complaint has something to do with that too.


Thanks for the additional links.

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