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New evidence needed to overturn verdict, acad -

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New evidence needed to overturn verdict, academic says

Reporter: Maxine McKew

MAXINE McKEW: Well, with us now is Professor John Ingleson, deputy vice-chancellor at the
University of New South Wales. One of his specialist areas is Indonesia - its laws, history and
relationship with Australia. Welcome. Thanks for coming in tonight. First of all, the verdict - is
it about what you expected?

JOHN INGLESON: I think the verdict is what I expected. I thought the sentence of 20 years was a
little longer than I expected. As I heard the judges reading their verdict, I thought that perhaps
they were moving towards a softer sentence of perhaps 10 years. So no, I think on the evidence,
most people expected this to be the verdict.

MAXINE McKEW: Now, if we move into the appeal period - you would expect, as they're all indicating,
the defence to appeal. What is the likelihood, do you think, of the sentence being reduced?

JOHN INGLESON: There's a possibility. For the verdict to be overturned, it would have to, I think,
probably require some additional evidence. You would have to say as an outsider - and we're all
outsiders - that the defence case does not appear to be all that strong, but the defence may focus
on getting the sentence reduced to, say, more like 5 to 10 years rather than 20 years.

MAXINE McKEW: Tell us about this appeals process, because new evidence can be introduced, I gather?

JOHN INGLESON: Yes, it can, but it would have to be genuinely new evidence, not just regurgitating
evidence that the court has set aside. In their judgments, the judges made it clear as they went
through, almost line by line, the evidence and said, "Well, this is the evidence of somebody but
we're setting it aside." They were covering themselves quite well to say they'd considered all the
evidence. So they'd have to bring some radically new evidence.

MAXINE McKEW: Of what kind, would you suggest?

JOHN INGLESON: You'd have to be able to show, with some clarity, about how that marijuana got into
that boogie bag. You can make assertions that somebody could put it in, and I've been saying to
people today: think of it the other way around, in an Australian court. If an Indonesian had come
to Australia with a boogie bag and Customs had found it with 4 kilos of marijuana, they would have
been charged with trafficking, and it would be very difficult to run the argument in an Australian
court that, "Your Honour, yes, I had it, it's my bag, but a cargo handler in Jakarta handled it",
or to bring across as a witness a convicted criminal from a Jakarta jail. I don't know that an
Australian court would accept that as a very strong defence.

MAXINE McKEW: You make a very good point there. Why is it, then, that we're seeing such emotion
around this case?

JOHN INGLESON: I think we're all genuinely perplexed by it. There are elements of this case that
simply don't add up, taking marijuana into Jakarta, into Bali on its own doesn't quite add up.
There's some uncertainties because we know some of the accusations about baggage handlers at Sydney
Airport, and I think it's become very emotional about a young good-looking Australian woman, etc.
There are 155 Australians in jails in South East Asia. There's a kid on death row in Singapore. We
got caught up emotionally in this. I suspect some of it is a residual sense that the Indonesian
justice system can never be fair to an Australian. I think we really have to be very careful we
don't go down that route.

MAXINE McKEW: Arguably the Australian Government's got caught up in this, because as we see now,
they are providing special legal help to the Schapelle Corby team, and of course, it's been
revealed today - Minister Downer said in fact this is the renewal of an offer of QCs to help, yet
we see no such help being offered to, as you say, others who are on death row in other South East
Asian capitals. Is it a bad precedent?

JOHN INGLESON: It's a difficult thing for a government to do and I think it really is a tightrope
the government's walking on. I know in other cases in South East Asia, the government is making
very quiet and very firm representations on behalf of Australians, but it's done behind the scenes.
To get involved in actively supporting the defence of one particular Australian in one particular
instance does seem to me to be quite difficult. The Foreign Minister, Mr Downer, was very careful
today in his very carefully-thought-out statement saying: let the process work its way through, let
the appeals work its way through before the Australian Government actually makes any formal
approaches to the Indonesian President.

MAXINE McKEW: What's your understanding of how much money has been provided by the Commonwealth
Government at this stage to help with the Corby defence?

JOHN INGLESON: I really don't know. But this afternoon, Mr Downer indicated it was quite
substantial and that more funds will be provided. He's never actually said how much that is, but
running a case like this in Indonesia or anywhere is not cheap. He did indicate that the lawyers
from Perth will be offering their services pro bono, but quite clearly there has been a substantial
amount of government money put in to support the case.

MAXINE McKEW: And a more professional defence at the appellate level - how much will this help?

JOHN INGLESON: It's hard to tell. The judges were unanimous in their verdict, and they said
"convincingly guilty". It's going to be very difficult to overturn the verdict. I think it's going
to require a very professional defence to show that, well, maybe if she was guilty, that perhaps
there should have been a lighter sentence - recognition of the fact that it was the first offence,
no past records, etc. They will have to have a very professionally mounted defence by people who
know how to argue in an Indonesian court.

MAXINE McKEW: Professor Ingleson, thanks very much indeed.