18 April 2011

More Schapelle Corby News...


On the Schapelle Corby front, it might be fair to say that, when it rains it pours! Although, what follows is not really news, rather it is a desperate lawyer looking to remain relevant and seemingly concerned that she might be being overshadowed by her Indonesian equivalent, Iskandar Nawing.

Kerry Smith-Douglas, who acts on behalf of the Corby family in Australia and who also appears to be the spokesperson, has gone on the record to describe how the Australian Prime Minister needs to intervene and bring Schapelle Corby home.

Now according to Smith-Douglas the clemency appeal appears destined to fail as the chances of success are slim. The basis of her claims are that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, or SBY, has had the Supreme Court recommendations on the clemency appeal since July 2010 and has not yet acted on them. In fact, there is ongoing speculation as to what the recommendations actually were. However, the most likely among the theories being bandied about is that the recommendations include a significant cut in the Corby sentence, perhaps 10 years.

Aside from the Prime Minister, Smith-Douglas has also written to the Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd. She has also written to the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, and the Shadow Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop. What is interesting is what Smith-Douglas is expecting these Australian politicians to do. Is she expecting that they are going to jump up and down and start wagging their collective fingers at SBY and any other Indonesian politician who might listen, saying "hand out girl over or suffer the consequences of our wrath".

Perhaps Smith-Douglas is expecting that Australia will seek to intervene in Indonesia's sovereign affairs. Maybe she could recommend that the PM and FM, whilst wagging their fingers, threaten to send in the Special Air Service (SAS) and break her out of Kerobokan. After all she is asking the PM to be firm with the Indonesian President and to put diplomatic protocols aside. I would love to be a fly on the wall watching Julia go toe-to-toe with SBY.

Ultimately, the Smith-Douglas letter plays the old "Schapelle's mental state is so fragile that she is hanging by a thread" followed with "her life is in your hands". The truth and the reality is that Schapelle has been hanging by a thread for so long now that people might start to wonder why it has not broken. There is no doubting that Ms. Corby is not the same person who went into prison, prison does that to you. It also seems that it is a fair call to say that she has suffered mentally as a consequence of being in the big house, but prison does that to you too.

Yet, the truth, and the reality, is that Schapelle Corby has been diagnosed by her Indonesian doctors with severe depression and is being treated.

Now, exactly what is it that Ms. Smith-Douglas wants the government to do for Schapelle above and beyond what they do for any Australian incarcerated overseas?

The mind boggles.