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Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Mieography


I saw this documentary, earlier in the week. It intrigued me. My mind is still puzzling on it, on the probability of it.

It was called "Ganja Queen"
I am going to tell you her story, via the Mieography, so you can decide for yourself. Maybe, I will even put up a poll on the sidebar, who knows?
So,
Schappelle Corby. She grew up in Australia, on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She was enrolled in a "beauty therapy" course, but her Dad got cancer, and she quit, to help him out, working at the family fish and chip shop.
SHe married a Japanese man, while he was in Australia, working. She spoke to him in Japanese, and, charmed, he asked her out. When he went back to Japan, she went to visit him, and they got married. She worked in Japan, at a traditional Japanese Inn. Away from home, and lonely, she and her husband began to have more arguments, and she left him, to move back home.
Schappelle had gone to Bali many times, on vacation. Her sister, Mercedes, had even married a Balinese man. In October of 2004, She, and some friends and family left for another Bali vacation. Per her usual, she was sure to pack her boogie board, and flippers. Despite the fact that her sister, who was living there with her husband, ran a surf shop in Bali.
In the airport, the Customs agents searched her boogie board bag, and in it, found a 4.2 kg bag of marijuana. (9.3 lbs). The customs agent says that she tried to prevent him from opening that particular compartment. The marijuana was wrapped in a clear plastic bag, that was shaped in the same shape, and thickness of her boogie board. She was, of course, arrested.
Here is where things get interesting, and iffy.
No one ever fingerprinted the bag. As a matter of fact, the bag was freely handled by multiple people, the pot picked at, pulled at, possibly some of it even taken, never to return. The marijuana itself was never tested, to see where it was from, what quality it was, or anything. Schappelle was drug tested, and it was negative. She sat in jail, for five months, awaiting her trial. Her family, not made of money, had to rely on which lawyer they were assigned. Interestingly, a half Balinese, half Aussie business man took interest in her case, and paid for an Australian legal team to come out and help defend her.
IN Australia, at that time, it was becoming known that baggage handlers in the airports were using unsuspecting passengers to courier drugs around the country. This was the defense arguement in Schappelle's case. Three of her traveling companions testified that they had seen her put the flippers in her bag, and that it had contained JUST the flippers, and boogie board.
The defense also found a prisoner, who was waiting for trial in Australia, who stated he overheard a prison conversation between two men about having planted the marijuana in Shappelle's boogie board bag. He was flown to Indonesia to testify. Apparently, there was a mix up, and the marijuana was supposed to never have left Australia. Schappelle's flight to Bali had started in Brisbane, with a layover in Sydney, where it was supposed to be removed. The prosecutors of the case called his testimony hearsay, and pointed out he was awaiting trial in Australia for many offenses. (He was found guilty, and imprisoned).
Meanwhile, the businessman who had taken up her cause gave a public interview, and made statements accusing the prosecution team of seeking bribes to reduce her sentence. (Bringing drugs into Bali can actually get you a death sentence, which many of the Balinese were openly picketing the judges to give her). This scared and infuriated her family, and they cut ties with the businessman.
By the end of her trial, Schappelle had been in jail, in Bali, for seven months. Whenever she was taken from the jail for her trial, she was swarmed by press, fighting to get close to her. The footage looked like a bad mosh pit to me. Add to that, the picketers standing outside, holding up signs calling for her death. Little surprise, she got sick, and also, began having issues with anxiety and depression. At one point, they had to take a week off to give her time to "rest". The circus finally ended, with Schappelle saying this:
"I cannot admit to a crime I did not commit. And to the judges, my life at the moment is in your hands, but I would prefer if my life was in your hearts.... And your Honor, I ask of you to show compassion, to find me innocent, to send me home. Saya tidak bersalah" (I am not guilty in Indonesian).
Then, she had to await her verdict, which was nationally televised in Australia and New Zealand. She was found guilty, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. She is still there, today. She has appealed all she could appeal, and has no legal move left. She has been hospitalized twice for her depression. Her father, meanwhile, has died from his cancer.
There is more to this case, a lot more, actually. But it would take me forever to go through it all. More information has come out, after the fact, involving her family, including one of her half brothers, whom she was traveling with. And about her. Watch the documentary if you have HBO. Then google her. Or, just google her. But the documentary is very good. It really did kind of convince me that she, actually, did not know about the marijuana. I think she's innocent. But that's just me.
The marijuana. It could be a baggage handlers. It could be hers, or her family's. Hell, her bag was unlocked, it could belong to anyone, right?
But 20 years in a Balinese prison. For a big bag of pot. She will be around 48 years old when she gets out.
Thats quite a sentence....

5 comments:

sybil law said...

I can't stand stories like that (I mean, I like them, but they infuriate me)!
For a big ol' bag o' weed.
Ridiculous.

Daryl said...

Insane ...... having been away at a blogfest which ironically had no wireless connectivity .. I have a lot to catch up on ..

Zerilda The Superfluous Blogger said...

i am never going to frickin' indonesia. THAT'S RIghT, FRICKING INDONESIANS! I'M BOYCOTTING YOU F'ERS! until such time as i deem you reasonable.

Bubblewench said...

Wow. That one gave me chills.

Bubblewench said...

Wow. That one gave me chills.