Bishop believes Corby may be innocent

Bathurst Bishop Patrick Dougherty has expressed concern over the continued imprisonment of convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby whom he believes may be "entirely innocent and very unjustly suffering".

The Catholic Weekly reports that an Australian bishop has renewed doubts about the guilt of Corby who is serving a 20 year jail sentence in Indonesia.

The Bishop of Bathurst, Bishop Patrick Dougherty, said in the Bathurst diocesan newspaper The Catholic Observer that there continued to be many considerations which gave weight to the possibility that Schapelle Corby "may be entirely innocent and very unjustly suffering".

He said that on the one hand there was the unconvincing course of her case through Indonesia's justice system and the not always competent quality of her defence team's work.

On the other hand, those who knew Schapelle spoke of her truthfulness and were convinced of her innocence.

"And the circumstances of her being arrested and charged favour this view," Bishop Dougherty said.

"She went to Indonesia on a holiday visit to her sister and the marijuana was found at the top of her boogie-board bag, which was unlocked - a most unlikely place for a planned drug import. And Schapelle was clearly not part of a drug syndicate.

"One immediately tends to accept her explanation that it was not she who attached drugs to her baggage."

Bishop Dougherty said it was well-nigh certain she would not have been convicted by an Australian court and that procedural matters like finger-printing would have been observed.

"Questions have to be asked as to whether the media has assiduously sought the truth of the case and worked for the victory of justice in the matter," he said.

A retired Vincentian priest at St Stanislaus' College, Bathurst, and one-time college headmaster, Fr Jim Maloney, said that he and his brother Terry, a retired businessman, believed Schapelle was innocent.

"Terry is absolutely convinced," Fr Maloney said. "Terry went to contact her, simply feeling sorry for her, but the visit coincided with the last day of the defence, which he said was just awful.

"Terry has spent many hours with her in the prison. During his most recent visit to her she was struggling with tears ... struggling to maintain her emotional equilibrium.

"But how do you prove her innocence?"

Fr Maloney said he and Terry wrote to Schapelle often and she replied when she could.

Bishop questions Schapelle's guilt (Catholic Weekly, 29/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Schapelle Corby website
Schapelle Corby (Wikipedia)

Nun's call to avert Schapelle Corby death penalty (CathNews, 8/4/05)

27 Jul 2007