Jailbird McJannett Says We’re All Crooks
Convicted Australian drug user Robert Paul McJannett, released from Bali’s Kerobokan Jail on Friday after completing a five-month sentence, used his homecoming to criticise the Indonesian authorities and call for Schapelle Corby to be brought home.
McJannett, 48, who was arrested at Ngurah Rai International Airport on December 28 when customs officers found 1.7 grams of marijuana concealed in socks in his baggage, hit out at Indonesian authorities when he arrived in Perth on Friday night.
“For the past five months, I have witnessed blackmail, bribery and corruption on an unprecedented scale. It is clearly not possible to receive a fair trial in the Bali justice system,” he told reporters.
McJannett, who first claimed when arrested in Bali that he had been set up by enemies in his trade union but then changed his story and admitted the drugs were his, urged the federal government to intervene in the Corby case.
“I call on the prime minister and foreign minister in this election year to bring Schapelle home, before it’s too late,” he said.
Corby is serving a 20-year jail sentence for bringing 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali in her boogieboard bag in October 2004.
Earlier this year she applied for presidential clemency, saying she was suffering from depression that could endanger her life.
Clemency decisions in Indonesia, like anywhere else, can take months.
McJannett, who contested an election in the West Australian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and lost, and who was previously a Labor Party parliamentary candidate in Queensland, had arrived in Bali for a brief holiday with his son.
He was found guilty of drug possession, which he finally admitted and apologised for, at the Denpasar District Court earlier in May and was sentenced to five months’ jail.
McJannett was released on Friday on the basis of time served on remand awaiting trial. He cause mirth among his jailers when, as he left Kerobokan’s gate, he put a cotton shopping bag over his head to avoid being recognised.
He has been banned from re-entry to Indonesia for 12 months and this could be extended. His passport has been stamped accordingly.Filed under: Headlines