There are braying reporters, dozing judiciary members, colourful lawyers and assorted hangers-on basking in the limelight and baking in the Indonesian heat. Centre stage, an Australian woman’s life is at stake..
Judgement in Denpasar
The Bali expats and intelligentsia are disgusted by Australia’s racist reaction. The other 230 million Indonesians ask, “Schapelle who?”
Eric Ellis on the weeping, xenophobic hysteria in Australia over the conviction of Schapelle Corby for smuggling drugs into Indonesia
SCHAPELLE Corby, the 27-year-old daughter of a fish-and-chip shop proprietress from Queensland, is not your usual Australian heroine. She is a drug smuggler, and was last month sentenced by a court in Indonesia to 20 years in prison. Back home, however, they won’t hear a word against her. According to the polls, something like 70 per cent of Australians are either members of her fan club or keenly sympathetic to her. One can understand the sympathy — 20 years does seem a bit rough — but the hysterical and uncritical adulation is bewildering, and very Old Australian..
AT 27, SCHAPELLE CORBY IS probably a bit too young for Warren Zevon but, given her present predicament, she would doubtless appreciate the American singer’s sentiments. Which are surely appropriate now that Jakarta’s most flamboyant lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea, has stepped into her troubled life, well practised as he is in law, guns and, particularly, in money.
When Indonesians lament their legal system is the best money can buy, possibly it is advocates such as Hotman, a 46-year-old Australian-educated Sumatran with an impressive mullet, that they have in mind