Interview with Schapelle Corby’s cell mate – AFP in drug trade “up to their necks”
From Larry Pickering, four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
How well did you know Schapelle Corby during the time you were in Kerobokan?
“I knew her very well.”
Were you in for the same offence?
“Well, not exactly the same stuff but it included Indonesian marijuana, and let me tell you it’s shit, but it attracted a sentence up to 15 years. I was set up!”
But isn’t everyone ‘set up’?
“Well, I was!”
“Sort of, she didn’t know about that lot. It was her brother, Mick and he’s a brain-dead f…wit yobbo. When I spoke to him, all he wanted to talk about was the shit quality of the Indo stuff. But Schapelle’s sister, Mercedes runs the whole show and let me tell you, she is a low bitch of a thing. Her husband, Wayan caught her playing up with a half Indian bloke and they split, but he still tries to help Schapelle. He’s a decent guy.”
So why did her brother let her take the rap?
“He had no choice, if he had put his hand up too, it would have meant they both got twenty years.”
How long did you get?
“A fair stretch, but I had to buy my way out. I hadn’t even been sentenced because they were waiting to see if I was able scrape up enough cash to get out. When I finally did, the sentence amounted to exactly the same time as I had spent on remand in Kerobokan and in the Dog Box at Denpasar.”
How much did it cost you?
“All up, $135,000 and even then my solicitor wanted a lot more money at the last minute. They had drained me of every dollar I could borrow. I told him I couldn’t raise one more cent, so he let it go at that. I only saw him once or twice, he was a greasy looking Indo guy in a Rolls Royce with gold jewellery dripping all over him. I don’t know for sure but I suspect he gets roughly 40% and the rest is shared around between judges and officials. But I don’t know the exact split.”
So why didn’t Corby buy her way out?
“She was determined to use every cent she could get her hands on to go for an appeal. But the AFP made that impossible. They just kept tripping her up making sure she had no money from any tell-alls, even tho it was completely outside any Australian jurisdiction. Although Mercedes got a fair bit for doing different things.”
Are you saying the AFP were involved in keeping her in there?
“What do YOU think? They are in it up to their necks, have been for years and they are scared shit about any interviews, so are the Indonesians. The Australian Consulate knows all about it too. What do you reckon that overkill raid on Channel seven was all about? Don’t tell me thirty AFP goons are THAT keen to contribute to Australia’s internal revenue. They are shitting themselves. And the Indos will never allow her to do an interview anyway.”
Tell me about Corby, did she do it tough in there?
“Yeah, pretty tough. Like me, she only had the basics.
Was she affected mentally?
“No, well, not to the extent they were claiming. She did hard time but always appeared on top of it to me. Her boyfriend helped her a lot.”
Was her boyfriend allowed to stay with her?
“Not really, they could get off together under a sheet during the day, but if the guards caught anyone having a quickie they’d stop them.”
There was talk of a baby.
“That’s media bullshit. She had put on a bit of weight at one time there, that’s all.”
I hear Kerokoban is awash with drugs.
“Oh yeah, mainly Indo marijuana and opium, not much ice or any of that stuff.”
How is that allowed to happen?
“Look, you need to understand that Kerobokan is a proper company, a corporation. Indonesian Police have no jurisdiction there, they need a Court Order just to get inside and by the time they get one, everyone, including the guards and inmates, have been tipped off. The jail makes its own money and gives you nothing. Everything from soap to food has to be brought in with the guards copping a 50% mark up.”
Isn’t there a kitchen?
“Yeah, but the kitchen food is inedible, chooks gizzards and rice, it’s rotten. They make it like that so you have to bring in your own food. That’s where the guards make their money. There is one inmate there with a TV, a double bed and everything he wants. He’s the main drug supply guy and the guards really look after him.”
Why haven’t you sold your story?
“I can’t say too much about that. But I’ll tell you what happened with the TV channels: Nine and Ten didn’t want to know about any interviews, in the end Seven dropped it because the ratings had just come in and anything about Corby had bombed, it just wasn’t a goer anyway! The Indos would never have allowed it, otherwise she’d have been straight back inside.”
So, from the time you spent with Corby, do you believe she is guilty?
“Let me put it this way. She wasn’t an active player in the Corbys’ game, she was a party girl and was used by Mercedes and the family. Her dickhead brother thought he was a kingpin dealer but he got careless and she was the one that took the rap for the both of them.”
Was Schapelle using drugs inside?
“No, Schapelle never took any drugs in the time I was there, but she was on some medication for a while.”
So will the truth eventually be known?
“Doubt it, can’t see any benefit in putting her family in the shit. I reckon the whole thing will just die.”
[The interviewee insisted on anonymity. Certain details have been altered that do not affect the substance of the informant’s opinion in order to protect the person’s identity. My opinion has been given in previous articles and I don’t intend to expand further on it.]