Saturday, November 26, 2005

Drugs, media and judiciary

Well, Michelle Leslie has managed to get out of Indonesian jail, so congrates to her. For those who never heard of her, she's a model who got caught with 2 ecstasy pills and was facing a possible 15 year term. My interest in writing about this case stems from this article in The Age which reveals all the behind the scenes stuff that went into getting her out like bribes and alleges that her convertion to Islam is false.

The purpose of the media is to publish the truth. No one can argue with that. However, there is no absolute rule and when we are talking about international politics, there is no black and white. Basically what I am saying is that The Age should not have published this article.

Why? Because it makes the Indonesian judiciary look bad. Everyone knows that bribery is a way of life in South East Asian countries. Its not something that can change overnight or even in a decade. Judiciaries are pretty much self regulated with pressure from the gov and media helping to shape it roles. Indonesia is changing. There is a will to change you can't bloody uproot the whole system and replace it with a working one overnight. You don't change from Communism into a 'democracy' overnight and have it work.

Its not like the Indonesia likes to throw foreigners in jail without proof. They've got a working justice system. They're got their own rule of law. Respect the system. Criticism will only harden their resolve. As John Howard said, what's the point with all the media attention on Tuong Van Nguyen (who is going to be hanged in Singapore on Friday) giving false hope. It only makes the Singapore gov/judiciary stick to their guns.

All these media and appeals etc will only create a siege mentality. The media should only make a big deal of it when there has been an abuse of justice like torture and false evidence.

Which brings me to my next point: David Hicks deserves the more media attention cause the freaking USA has been holding him in Guantanamo Bay without proof. I guess only beautiful white females who get caught in foreign countries sell more papers.

The next foreign national to get caught AND get huge media exposure is going to get it up his/her arse. No bribing and the courts will be pressured to convict.

The Indonesian system is no perfect but what system is. Its not like the prisoners are being tortured and false evidence has been used. Let the accused people and their legal team work within the justice system without the glare of the international and international spotlight.

Let the judiciary do their job. You want them to be independent then stop with the media barrage. Let the judge(s) decide the cases on the merits and evidence or bribes. Australia is lenient on drug users. Do they want to see someone who wouldn't even spend a night in an Australian jail spend 15 years in an Indonesian prison?

So to sum up whatever I have been typing for the past half an hour:


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