Schapelle Corby and the Rainbow Warrior
While I am not obsessed with the Schapelle Corby
case, I can't help but revisit the subject after hearing a report on Radio
National's PM recently. It concerns the administration of justice, and the
ability of an foreign country to affect the course of justice in the country
where a crime is committed. It involves state sponsored terrorism, murder, and
the use of financial threats to have the perpetrators freed.
On 13th July 1985 French secret service agents
bombed and sank the Rainbow Warrior at its berth in Auckland Harbour, killing
the Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira. Although there were more agents
involved, two faced justice in New Zealand. Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieu
pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and were sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
The French Government then applied economic pressure on New Zealand, and paid
both the new Zealand Government and Greenpeace millions of dollars in
recompense. Six months into the prison sentence, the agents were transferred to
Hao Atoll in July 1986, where they were supposed to serve out the remainder of
the ten years, but within two years they returned to France, where they were
decorated for their crimes.
of course no real link to the Schapelle Corby case. She was convicted for a
relatively minor crime by world standards, and may yet serve twenty years behind
bars. The French agents were terrorists and murderers, and their crime was
serious enough to facilitate economic pressure and bastardy to get their
release. What does this prove? Not much, and alas nothing to help Corby, but it
does show that all the posturing about respecting the laws of another country
and their sentencing laws can be laid aside if the economically stronger of the
parties decides to exercise their power. And one of the most civilized countries
in the world is happy to have these murderers walking the
Footage shot during the trial
of the agents has been obtained by TVNZ, and is expected to be shown to New
Zealand viewers in the near future. This footage has never been seen by the
public, and apparently the agents are concerned that the airing of the trial may
damage their reputation. Let's hope so!
Posted: Thu - September 21, 2006 at 04:46 PM