This is a curious story and one that has received little attention in America. It concerns a young Australian woman Schapelle Corby, who right now is cooling her heels in Kerobokan Prison in Bali, Malaysia. In 2004 Schapelle Corby flew to Bali on vacation, she was planning to spend her time with her sister Mercedes who is married to a Bali man. A two week vacation at the beach, what could be better?

Bali went from paradise to hades in no time flat for Schapelle. When she arrived in Bali she was asked by customs officials to open a Boogy Board bag that she had and a ten-pound bag of cannabis was flattened next to the board. Though she says she knew nothing about the marijuana, Shapelle was immediately arrested.

Here we are 4 years later, Schapelle is languishing in an Indonisian jail, all of her appeals have been exhausted, and the only chance she has is by an act of clemency by Indonesia’s president.

HBO has produced a very thought provoking documentary in Ganja Queen. It would be easy to create a shockumantary, as many have before “Innocent Australian/American/Brit (name your country of origin) Unjustly Jailed In Thailand/China/Aruba (name your country). HBO have taken the high road, and have taken the time to explore the possible scenarios.

Was her luggage tampered with? If it was, who did the tampering? There are a small number of people that might be the perpetrator. Or was she acting as a ‘mule’? That option seems less attractive, she does not fit the profile, and she was traveling with other family members.

If she is innocent then this documentary offers a really serious warning to all international travelers. For years now we have been asked at the checkout counter if we packed our own bag, and has it been out of our view since that time.

If Schapelle is innocent, it is because she did not follow those rules.

There is also a ‘wild card’ theory, and one that has the luggage handlers in Sydney, Australia fit to be tied. Did the Luggage Handlers put the drugs in? The Union involved is just hopping mad, as you can see in this news item.

Or was it a family member who added the drugs? Or is she guilty as charged?

This is a must see TV program, and one that takes that extra step to explore more than the prima facie facts. You can catch Ganja Queen at 9pm on Monday June/30 on HBO.

Simon Barrett

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