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Schapelle Sentence Shows Up Bali Bomber

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, June 4, 2005
Outrage at the jailing of Bali pot girl Schapelle Corby escalated in Australia this week as an ex boyfriend of the 27 year old beauty student contrasted her 20 year sentence with the 30 month jail term given to Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir for his role in the Bali nightclub terrorist attacks.

"How they can give the guy who masterminded the Bali bombings two years' jail and give Schapelle what is effectively a life sentence is beyond belief and a disgrace to most Australians," Shannon MacClure told The Courier Mail. "Their justice system has a lot to answer for."

The notorious cleric, described as "the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyaah, a suspected terrorist organization' by the New York Times last year, was convicted of criminal conspiracy of the bombings, which killed 202 people in 2002.

"Of course, his light sentence could not have come because of extreme public pressure for his release," The Times suggested after Bahir was sentenced. "For instance, his indictment sparked riots on the streets of Indonesia and Indonesian authorities would let him out of his cell to walk the streets and get cups of coffee."

Press reports this week suggested many Indonesians view marijuana as a far greater threat than terrorism, including one Jakarta-based journalist who told New Zealand's Press association he considered Australian reactions to the case "surprising'.

"Twenty years for importing (that amount) of marijuana (4kg) is relatively light," the reporter pointed out. "The same court in Bali has sentenced many Africans and Asians to death for having much less."