Friday, February 6, 2009

The Missing CCTV Footage

During the show trial, Schapelle Corby begged for CCTV footage to be released from both Brisbane and Sydney airports. These may have shown clearly that her bag was virtually empty when she departed. The footage could have provided direct and unambiguous proof that the marijuana was placed after she handed the bag over to the handlers.

One might imagine that provision of the footage would have been a formality, given its importance for Schapelle Corby’s life. But incredibly, no footage was provided. After initially stating that the Brisbane footage was in good order, the airport later changed this to a story that the cameras were being repaired, and then finally to a position that they were turned off.

The Sydney Airport and Qantas situation was even more disturbing. Despite a major drug operation being underway and a flight carrying cocaine being there at exactly the same time as Schapelle was on the airport [8] they too stated that they had no CCTV footage available! This despite the airport (and airline) having a very comprehensive CCTV system in place, including coverage of the baggage handling areas [34].

No cameras running or footage available across two major airports, post 9/11 and post the Bali bombings? Those airports being direct international links to Islamic countries, and whilst a drugs operation is actually underway at one of them? Do they really believe that to be a credible story?

Naturally, questions have raged since. What really happened to the CCTV footage? Who erased it? Baggage handlers or related staff covering their tracks? Or the Australian Federal Police (who had jurisdiction of course at both airports)? Or another party?

Note that similar questions have also been asked with respect to the non-provision of x-ray images of her bag at both airports.

Next: The Role Of The AFP

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