Friday, May 20, 2011

Reply to John

John, I've slightly amended my post to make it very, very clear that I'm not inciting or asking anyone to shoot you (if it wasn't clear enough already), but referring to the logical outcome of a judicial process in Indonesia which you support. I have not sent you any "Hate" mail, and I'm certainly not responsible for what anyone else has written. Indonesia shoots people for smuggling drugs, and they use a firing squad. That's a fact of life, do you dispute it? My picture shows a firing squad (not a random act of murder), and my blog refers to the outcome of court proceedings. If Indonesia did not shoot people for smuggling drugs, then obviously, my blog post would not have referred to this Indonesian practise. It's not a gratuitous picture. The logical outcome of the arguments you sent me is that if you were found with drugs in your luggage in Indonesia (which you had no knowledge of), and they ignored all the available evidence, then sentenced you to death after the court case, you'd think that was perfectly fair and reasonable?

The picture is shocking, because the logical outcome of your argument is shocking and horrific, e.g. the death and/or incarceration of innocent people. Though if you don't think it would be fair for Indonesia to shoot you in those circumstances (if that was the judgement of the court), and I've misrepresented your views because you don't support the death penalty of that country for drug smuggling (and you think it's wrong), then of course, I'd be more than happy to remove that blog post immediately. Just let me know ASAP, and it will be done. I don't have a problem with doing that. Further, if you can find any specific wording in my blog post which incites people to randomly shoot you, please quote and get back to me, and I'll remove (at once), the offending statement.

Do you realise though, that the opinion you've sent me actually incites and supports the judicial murder of innocent travellers in Indonesia?

I'd also like to point out that via your logic, if innocent Qantas passenger Gary MacDonald had been caught in Indonesia, he would (very likely), be facing a firing squad. Here's info about Gary MacDonald (an Australian press article):

He was a victim of exactly the SAME baggage handling crew (at exactly the same time), that "Dealt" with Schapelle's bags.

Sometimes it takes a shocking image, and confrontation with the absolute reality of what we're advocating, to dent a fossilised mindset. So please get back to me John (as I've requested above), to either moderate the apparent logical outcome of your views, which makes my depiction an unfair representation of your opinion, and/or quote any specific words which incites people to randomly harm you, and I'll remove and/or alter my post immediately, and without argument.

Regards, Kim

Another reply from John

Not to mention offensive and personally threatening. Given the hatemail I've received from your friends, I regard this as a serious incitement, and I request that you
(i) remove the post immediately and either
(a) replace it with an apology; or
(b) delete all reference to me on your blog and Facebook page

I don't wish to engage in any further correspondence with you. Your lawyers can easily get my contact details, and I'm sure mine will be able to locate you.

John Quiggin

My Response to John Quiggin

John, when your bags are out of your control for many hours in an environment where many other people have access to them, and in an environment where there is a well known (and well documented), history of criminal behaviour, then of course, when drugs are found in your luggage on arrival at a destination (to prove the drugs are yours), there has to be concrete and provable links between you and the drugs. Using an example of one injustice (Chika Honda), to excuse the other is not acceptable. Here's all the linking evidence that can easily be pursued . . . none of which were investigated or allowed in Schapelle's case . . .

1. Bank and phone records, and a search of the suspects home premises.
2. Forensic investigation of the physical evidence for plant source, human DNA and fingerprints.
3. Airport CCTV.
4. X-ray imagery.
5. Weighing the luggage on arrival, to compare that with the departure weight.
6. The criminal profile and history (or otherwise), of the subject.
7. The testimony of Sydney Airport check-in staff (they testified that a huge 4.2 kilo, easily noticeable and stinking bag of marijuana, also slashed to release the aroma, was not in Schapelle's bag on check-in, because boogie board bags are not allowed to contain any other items, there was a weight limit for boogie board bags, and they would have noticed the stench).
8. Motive (as this transaction would have caused her to lose many hundreds of thousands of dollars).

From the heights of academia that you inhabit, do you have any logical explanation why any of these easily pursued avenues were either ignored or prohibited by the Indonesians?

And further, this STILL does not explain why anyone from Australia would import marijuana FROM Australia TO Bali, when it sold for $US31 a gram in this country, and US30 cents a gram in Indonesia at that time. I note you've very conveniently ignored that point.

Further, I'm aghast that a supposedly reputable academic can brazenly say that the "Balance of probabilities" is now the benchmark standard in any criminal trial. But even so, the simple presence of drugs in someone's luggage (with NO other linking evidence), doesn't even fulfil this requirement. Your statement is patently incorrect, and I would challenge you to provide any reputable source for that outrageous assertion. The standard in any criminal trial (and this also complies with United Nations requirements), is that the onus is not on the accused to "Prove" their innocence, the onus is on the prosecution to "Prove" guilt. Drugs were found in Schapelle's bag, that does not prove she put them there when the bag was out of her control for many hours. The onus was on the prosecution to find that evidence, and they actively avoided pursuing any avenue that could have easily provided it one way or the other.

As for the evidence about the criminality of the Qantas baggage handlers at Sydney Airport, that was actually provided in a letter from the Australian Government, to the Indonesians, but it was excluded by the Indonesians as "Irrelevant." Do you have any explanation for that? That's hardly "Hearsay."

I also note that you've failed to provide a single shred of hard evidence linking Schapelle to the drugs found in her bag, despite my challenge, asking you for the same. And as for your assertion that normal standards of evidence have to be abandoned, otherwise we couldn't convict drug smugglers, that's complete BS. I suggest you speak to very experienced criminal investigator Michael Levine (an expert in these matters). In all cases, other easily accessible evidence is available:

Regards, Kim

John Quggin's Reply

Dear Kim,

I'm writing with my thoughts about the Corby case, which you are welcome to post on your blog.

My main concern in the post to which you respond was with the suggestion that Schapelle Corby did not receive a fair trial, by Australian standards, from the Indonesian courts. I would say, on the contrary, that, in a similar case, an Australian trial would almost certainly have produced a conviction. This isn't hypothetical - the case of Chika Honda closely parallels that of Schapelle Corby, except that in Honda's case there was a specific suspect for the planting of drugs in her luggage, and a plausible opportunity. Honda served 10 years jail and her subsequent efforts to clear her name have been, as far as I know, unsuccessful And large numbers of people have been convicted of drug possession offences despite claiming that the drugs weren't theirs.

You point to a variety of sources of possibly exculpatory evidence that weren't pursued. But in fact, the Indonesian courts were more receptive to such evidence than Australian courts would be: for example, the evidence of John Ford regarding possible involvement of baggage handlers would have been excluded as hearsay, a point urged by Mick Keelty if I recall correctly.

As I see it, the injustices here aren't specific to the Corby case but are inherent in the attempt to prohibit drugs. If police had to prove, beyond reasonable doubt that people found with drugs in their luggage knew it was there, very few accused drug smugglers would be convicted. So, in effect, the standard of reasonable doubt has been abandoned in favor of a balance of probabilities rule where someone found with drugs is presumed guility unless they can prove otherwise. That's true of the Corby and Honda cases and of vast numbers of others.

Finally, you point to a range of inconsistencies in sentencing. It's certainly true that Indonesian law has much more severe penalties for drug offences than for crimes that any reasonable person would judge to be more serious. But, as in the case of the Bali Nine, that hasn't stopped Australian police from providing intelligence to the Indonesians. It's also true that there are particular Indonesian cases where criminals got off much more lightly for crimes that appear more serious. But exactly the same is true in any legal system including Australia's.

To sum up, I see Schapelle Corby's case as one of many examples of the effects of harsh and ultimately futile drug prohibition laws, operating in Australia and most other countries. I hope that her clemency appeal succeeds. But I think that an approach to the case that represents her as a victim of Indonesian injustice is both wrong and likely to prove counterproductive.

John Quiggin


kerry stokes google grab


press council letter

kerry stokes

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fake email?

From: Mrs. Kim Bax (Full contact details provided)

To: Brett McCarthy (Editor of the The West Australian), Gary Adshead (journalist, The West Australian) & The Press Council

Re: Fraudulent email from Gary Adshead at The Western Australian.


Please see the response below that I received from Monica Jessup, at Computer Forensics World, when I forwarded Gary Adshead's email correspondence to her, which is also linked within this recent correspondence to Brett McCarthy:

As you will also note, when I got Gary's email of the 17 May 2011, I immediately did an electronic search of my Yahoo email account (all folders and files), which turned up nothing from him on the 13 May 2011 (the date he claimed he sent me his previous email). The screen grab of that result is also posted at the above link.

I am more than happy to allow Monica Jessup full access to my computer, and to all my email accounts (and allow her to publish a formal and public report of the results). However, are you willing to allow Monica Jessup to communicate with the responsible service technician your end, as she suggests below, to provide similar openness and transparency, because I certainly have nothing to hide?

I would also remind you that a book (and documentary), re Schapelle are in development, and I'm sure this latest grubby episode will be fully documented within both. It doesn't exactly show the Australian media and press in a flattering light, and both will have global exposure.

In the meantime, I will call Brett McCarthy's office before close of business to-day (19 May 2011), in regard to the right of response I'm seeking. I think around 400 words would be adequate, is that OK with you - or do you have another suggestion? I also look forward to your response re your co-operation (or otherwise), with Monica Jessup.

Regards, Kim



We have now had the opportunity to examine the two messages you sent.

There are a number of indicators which support your suggestion that the email referred to within the latter message may have been retrospectively constructed.

For example, both emails are purported to have originated from the same source. However, the date constructs are not identical:

Sent: Tue, 17 May, 2011 11:58:10
Sent: Friday, 13 May 2011 3:21 PM

Examination of the headers also reveals a number of other similar inconsistencies.

Whilst a forensic examination of your email account at Yahoo would confirm non-receipt of the original message, I assume that direct access to the email server used by is not possible. Nonetheless, you might ask the message source to allow dialogue with the responsible service technician, who could readily provide server logs which would record any such outgoing message. If the message is genuine, then in the interest of transparency, such a request might attract a positive response.

Finally, any additional information would assist in a more detailed enquiry, which our team will conduct pro bono. I will call you later.

Monica Jessup

More from the west

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Further communication to Brett McCarthy

* I did not receive the email Gary Adshead claimed he sent me on 13 May 2011.

* An electronic search of all my Yahoo mail folders (just after I received and opened his email to me of 17 May 2011), did not find any email from Gary Adshead dated 13 May 2011. I took and preserved a screen grab of this result.

* Gary Adshead should not have gone ahead with an article prominently mentioning my name, and based on my work, without firstly, ascertaining if I’d received his electronic communication, and secondly providing me with adequate time to respond. Sending me an email (quite literally), a few hours before his print deadline, and then going ahead with the article when he had no way of knowing if I’d even seen his communication (which I hadn’t), was neither adequate, or acceptable.

* Further, there is nothing in the email he claimed to have sent me that indicates:

  1. He was planning to write a prominent article mentioning my name.
  2. He was planning to do so within a very short time frame (24 to 36 hours hence, at the most), and thus I needed to get back to him as a matter of urgency.
  3. That he had tried to discover my phone numbers without success. He didn’t state that in his claimed email, he didn’t ask for my phone numbers, he didn’t ask me to phone him asap and he didn’t provide me with his mobile phone number.

Gary Adshead should have . . .

  1. Emailed me at least a few days before his planned article, clearly explaining his intention and informing me of his print deadline.
  2. Clearly asked me to call him asap, and also provided me with his mobile number, in case I was unable to contact him within office hours - and explained why he’d been unable to contact me by phone (if that was case, though there’s no indication it was).
  3. Phoned me (in the same way he phoned Ross Taylor, also mentioned in his article).
  4. Postponed his article until he was able to contact me in a timely and professional manner, and after he’d made reasonable efforts to contact me. One email (and NO phone call), sent a just few hours before his print deadline, containing no information about how urgently he needed to speak to me, or what his intention was, was not a “Reasonable effort.”

gary a

screen grab gary

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A reply

Re: From Kim Bax
Kim Bax
To:John Quiggin

Thank you for that John, and thank you for the retraction. Your response will be very interesting, considering the ONLY evidence against Schapelle was/were the completely unsubstantiated statements of Indonesian customs officers . . .

Who did not speak English . . .

. . . which were completely uncorroborated by any hard evidence (despite requests for the same) . . .

In Australia, this is known as "Verballing," and has led to many miscarriages of justice . . .

And Australian magistrates are formally warned against this type of "Evidence" . . .

Further, the judge in Schapelle's case completely inverted the onus of proof . . .

Thus completely trashing the laws of his own country . . .

And ignoring one of the most universal legal principles (the presumption of innocence), which also applies in Indonesia . . .

Further, Schapelle was also convicted on a "Trafficking" charge with zero evidence . . .

So John, it will quite fascinating to see what magic rabbits you pull out of the hat, to convince anyone that Schapelle's conviction was "Safe" and "Just," considering . . .

1. There was not a shred of hard evidence connecting her to the drugs in her bag.

2. A trade in marijuana FROM Australia TO Bali does not exist (and never has), because of the glaring price differential.

3. She had no criminal record, and no criminal profile.

4. There exists massive hard evidence, re criminal and corrupt Qantas baggage handlers, who were using innocent airline passengers as unwitting drug mules at the exact time Schapelle flew - and there is also massive hard evidence of generalised airport corruption (The Wheeler Report, plus the testimony of senior police officers and customs officials, plus other more recent reports).

5. Much more serious crimes of extreme violence (and much more serious drug crimes), are routinely treated with a great deal more leniency in Indonesia.

And you may also be interested in the observations I just emailed to Carole Ferrier (Gender Studies at UQ) . . .

I believe what we are seeing here is a media-driven witch hunt, on the same scale as the Lindy Chamberlain debacle, and for the same reasons (to protect corporate interests, and hide corporate corruption). Baby-eating dingoes are very, very bad PR for huge investments in the Northern Territory tourist trade, just as drug smuggling Qantas baggage handlers (with criminal records as long as your arm), are very, very bad news for the national airline. I also believe the players behind this are very aware of the misogyny they're deliberately tapping into. Here's my graphic take on things . . .

And here's the astute observations of Anne Summers . . .

A reply