TF Archives

Hollywood Superstar Says Save Schapelle

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Gladiator movie star Russell Crowe called on Australian premier John Howard to help rescue Schapelle Corby from her hellhole Indonesian jail this week, after local newspapers printed fresh pictures of the framed 27 year old beauty student.

"The photographs of Schapelle Corby broke my heart," the Oscar winning actor told Sydney radio show John Laws Radio Programme. "The first thing I thought this morning was, like, how can I get Johnny Howard on the phone and say 'look, what are you gonna' do, mate, what are you gonna do-' - that's ridiculous, what if it was your daughter-"

Crowe pointed out that Australia has donated hundreds of millions of dollars in Tsunami Aid in recent months and questioned the evidence linking Schapelle to the cannabis found in her luggage.

"When there is such doubt, how can we, as a country, stand by and let a young lady, as an Australian, rot away in a foreign prison-" he asked.

While Schapelle's fate remains uncertain (despite prosecutors asking for a life sentence, she could still be executed by firing squad) another cautionary drugs tale emerged from the United Arab Emirates this week, involving a 44 year old British woman who's been imprisoned since being drug tested at Dubai airport in March.

According to press reports Tracy Wilkinson was arrested as she tried to leave the Middle Eastern Gulf state following a holiday after testing positive for traces of codeine in her blood. Despite the fact codeine is present in over-the-counter British cold remedy Nurofen Plus and the fact she'd been taking painkillers on prescription before her trip, she's since been locked up in a brutal jail, where she's already contracted dysentery and head lice.

"Dubai is trying very hard to promote itself as a nice, safe place to be and so this case should be taken very seriously," Stephen Jacobi from Fair Trials Abroad told the Telegraph. "The UAE should realise how important this case is to their tourism trade."

English language newspaper Gulf News suggested Ms Wilkinson was sentenced to four years in jail this week, though a British embassy official later denied this. She now faces possible sentencing on Saturday.