In May 2005, this story about Schapelle was the biggest news in the country, and just 19 days before that historic verdict, the first time ever an Australian had been convicted of importing a commercial amount of marijuana into Bali (from this country), the former head of Internal Investigations for the Australian Federal Police (Ray Cooper) said . . .
Ray Cooper, former head of operations for the AFP's internal investigations, told the Nine Network it was well known by the AFP that unwitting passengers were being used as `mules' to shift drugs between Australian domestic airports.
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Now, this morning I just rang David Fagan's office at Queensland's Courier Mail, to see how his publication handled Ray Cooper's absolutely startling and head-line grabbing allegations, in the context of one of the biggest news stories of the century (in Australia). I spoke to David's secretary, who suggested I should enquire with their library services. Thank you for that help and advice, much appreciated, I took it.
The Ray Cooper in question has only ever been mentioned once in the Courier Mail, on page 9, on the 9th May 2005. There was never any follow-up, and it obviously wasn't "Newsworthy" enough to rate anything more than "Page 9." Now, this is the information I was given by the Courier Mail library services this morning, if there is any error in it, I'm happy to be corrected.
So now, I'm doing the job the fourth estate in this country should have done years ago, and I'm asking the questions, though I'm not a journalist, and no-one's paying me anything.
Personally, I think it's a pathetic, sad and shameful comment on Murdoch's record in this country, but hardly without precedent . . .