Among those happy to see Schapelle Corby released today are a group of true believers who blame former Prime Minister John Howard for her imprisonment and believe it was part of a vast political, media and police conspiracy.
Their belief in her innocence forms the basis for The Expendable Project, a website that alleges Corby was the sacrificial victim of the Australian Government’s international appeasement policies and that the Australian media were in on the conspiracy, along with police and customs.
The anonymous group, based in the USA, produced 103 minute documentary they claim proves their conspiracy theory, declaring it details “How a government wilfully withheld vital evidence from a court of law, deceived its public, orchestrated an unprecedented media campaign, and ruthlessly deployed its organs of state against one of its own citizens” adding that it was “pre-meditated” and “brutal”.
They also run a Facebook page titled People for Schapelle Corby, while the website SchapelleGate follows a similar line and its Twitter account published this picture of Corby’s mother, Roseleigh, two days ago:
— SchapelleGate (@SchapelleGate) February 7, 2014
In keeping with their theories the Expendable Project believes they are now targets of this conspiracy and use “gatekeepers” as contacts “to protect the anonymity of the studio and team”, claiming that since 2011, people linked to the site have been subjected to “unlawful efforts to construct false evidential trails” so computers can be seized, as well as surveillance, legal threats and cyber attack.
More recently, in response the book Sins of the Father by Eamonn Duff, upon which Channel Nine’s telemovie is based, the Expendable group countered with a follow up documentary titled Dead Men Can’t Sue.
Letting 100 flowers bloom, there are countless similar websites, such as Sins of the Father rebutting Duff’s book.
The author himself detailed the campaign against him in The Sun Herald yesterday, saying “this small, cult-like group launches daily attacks against me”.
Among the advocates for the website are a number of Australians who in recent years have launched their own journalism websites seeking the “truth”, which regularly publish stories protesting Corby’s innocence.
They include Diane Frola, who publishes “Hard Evidence Magazine“, which tackles issues often associated with conspiracy theories, from UFOs to vaccines, the ark and shroud of Jesus and crop circles.
Gerry Georgatos launched The Stringer 12 months ago and also writes prolifically on Corby’s innocence.
It seems the debate over Corby can get heated, with a Fairfax report saying “A cohort of pro-Corby shock troops who link heavily to Expendable trawls the internet for mentions of her name, then bully people who deviate from their view”.
Meanwhile, industry website Mumbrella is reporting that Channel 7 has won the bidding war to interview Corby, paying an estimated $2 million, and that veteran reporter Mike Willisee took Corby off to interview for Seven’s Sunday Night program shortly after her release.
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