Friday, May 20, 2011

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