Mudcat Café message #1495429 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80488   Message #1495429
Posted By: George Papavgeris
29-May-05 - 07:19 AM
Thread Name: BS: Schapelle Corby
Subject: RE: BS: Schapelle Corby
Whether she did or did not commit the crime, her case highlights the risks we all take when travelling. For a start, we tend to ignore the fact that when abroad we are subject to the laws and processes of the countries we visit, and these can be very different to the ones we are used to. The idea is that by choosing to go there, we also accept their way of life, their laws etc. To then turn round and try to flout the laws, or bypass them, after the event, does not seem right - if we have a beef with a coutry's laws we should take it up with them through diplomatic and other processes at some "neutral" time. Otherwise, by continuing diplomatic relations with such a country while not complaining about their legal system we are tacitly accepting it.

One may argue that there are of course exceptions, in the case of dictatorial or otherwise objectionable governments with which we choose to retain diplomatic relations for other reasons (usually business). But it's such a fine line between upholding unwritten international behaviour codes and respecting a country's sovereignty.

5-6 years ago three Turkish long-distance drivers were arrested in Saudi Arabia for possession of illegal stimulants, and were duly sentenced to death and executed. The "stimulants" were "keep you awake" energy-sweets that you can buy in any sweet shop in the UK, which the drivers were using to keep them going for the long hours of driving. What a crime! But they did not know they were illegal in Saudi, and paid with their lives for that.

Had they been US, UK, Australian, French or German citizens, a deal would have been negotiated between the respective ambassador and the authories, I am sure. But they had the additional misfortune to be Turkish - a country with very little pull in the theocracies of the Middle East, being a secular (albeit Muslim) country, and with no economic might.

Which only serves to show that there is one rule for the mighty, and another for the weak; one for the rich, and another for the poor; even at those exalted levels of.

So - back to Schapelle: She stood no chance of being found innocent, given the legal system of the country she visited; whether she committed the crime or not. But she may yet be a little lucky: The Australian Government is trying to get her to serve her sentence in Australia.

Lucky she wasn't Turkish.