The Australian media is at it again!
Schapelle Corby who has achieved hero status with the assistance of the Australian media, received another six months off her twenty year sentence for good behaviour. This is on top of the 8 months of remissions received each year, and after Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last year granted her clemency on humanitarian grounds and slashed her sentence by five years.
Furthermore, now a recommendation for parole has been sent to the Indonesian government with a condition that the parole must be served at an address in Bali, most probably with her sister, Mercedes. This could see her released in 2014.
Of course this news whipped the Australian media into a frenzy again, relating to all “Schapelle’s strict bail conditions revealed”; “How Schapelle will live in Bali”; “Schapelle Corby must undertake moral and religious training” and “Schapelle to design swimwear in Bali” and a miriad of other permutations of this theme.
Only one of articles I read chose to remind us that Schapelle Corby is a convicted drug courier who received twenty years imprisonment in Kerobokan prison for the 2004 attempt to smuggle more than 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali concealed in the bag of a boogie board.
In real terms the 20 year sentence initially received will end up actually being more like 10 years.
Now I know that it will be argued by some that 20 years was too long a sentence, and conditions in Indonesian prisons are squalid and overcrowded, and while all this may be true; but it must be remembered that she was found guilty of drug smuggling in a country where the penalty for this crime could be death. When you travel in a country, you are bound by the laws and customs of that country. Equally, when you commit crimes in that country, you are also bound by the laws and punishments of that country. Even if they are more draconian than those at home.
I suppose what bothers me most however, is that the Australian media continue to make Corby out to be hard done by, to sanitise her crimes and try to elevate her status to that of a cult hero like a modern day Ned Kelly. And it should be remembered that he too was a thief, bank robber, bushranger and a murderer. But then I guess this is what sells womens magazines back in Australia.
In Corby’s case, has justice been done? You be the judge.