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View Full Version : Incriminating evidence - what to do with it?



Evaine
08-23-2006, 02:33 PM
I've got a very nice first scene or two of a story, in which my main characters are passed some evidence of corruption at a high level of government in the country they are visiting.

I've just got to the point where they are discussing what they should do with it, and realised I have no idea what would be the best thing to do?
Go to an independant news channel? Find an opposition politician? Run for the hills? Throw it away? Put it on the web?

Does anyone know of real examples where an ordinary tourist has become involved in this sort of thing?

J. Weiland
08-23-2006, 02:37 PM
1)How have your characters gotten hold of the evidence?

2) Are they just plain tourists?

3) Why would they want to have anything to do with a government corruption case?

If you answer these questions I might be able to help. :)

gromhard
08-23-2006, 04:35 PM
Send it either to the District Attorney if it's a crime, a specific journalist if it's scandal or even a crime. Or if it is something HUGE the Attorney Generals Office or someone high enough up with the Justice Department.

It really does depend on the evidence, how they got it and more importantly what they want to do with it.

Specifically tourists thwarting crime? I don't know. But I do know that the there'd be little to no news/criminal convictions/scandals if not for normal citizens like you and me, finding information and giving it to the News/Cops.
This isn't 1984(yet) so the cops can't be everywhere, they really do rely heavily on civilian tips to do thier jobs.

Soccer Mom
08-23-2006, 05:57 PM
If they are in a foreign county- How about the US Counsolate? (hope I spelled that one right.)

Robert Toy
08-23-2006, 06:03 PM
If they are in a foreign county- How about the US Counsolate? (hope I spelled that one right.)
You may as well dump it in the trash bin.

Soccer Mom
08-24-2006, 04:55 AM
Yeah, I know. Evaine said the tourists had to solve it themselves, so...

But a lot of tourists would turn there for help.

Carmy
08-24-2006, 07:52 AM
Whatever you do, don't set your story in Alberta Canada. In this Province, no newspapers or other media will touch anything that whiffs of corruption in government. Politicians may take up the case but the Premier shoots them down. Certain agencies of the Alberta Government are not governed by laws which we expect to be covered, like Human Rights.

Sad but true.

persiphone_hellecat
08-24-2006, 02:19 PM
I guess it would depend on what you want to happen. Do you want the corrupt people to be caught? Do you want your "good guy" tourists to be harassed, chased, captured or something like that? I think the US Consulate is a good idea. However, as I have frequently heard happen in stories I have read, the Consulate could be blocked by local police etc. preventing your characters from getting there. Once you are on Consulate grounds, you are protected. Off the grounds, you are subject to local laws and arrest if necessary. Of course, if they made it to the grounds of the Consulate and the corrupt officials found out and had the Consulate or Embassy stated out, the tourists would become "guests" of the Embassy or Consulate for a long time unless there was some way to slip them out unnoticed. If they got caught, their passports would be confiscated. If they didnt and they tried to get out of the country, I think their visas could be revoked and they could be detained. You have set yourself up with a political thriller situation. Nelson De Mille is one author who handles such situations very well. The Charm School was about the American Embassy in Russia and getting on and off the grounds with local police outside. You might want to look at that book for thoughts as to how to handle it.

expatbrat
08-24-2006, 02:39 PM
Honestly I would pretend I saw nothing. Depends on where they are but most countries could not protect you. I live in Thailand an I promise you I would never report a thing I see here. A "hit" cost 2000 baht, that's $50USD, and every single week people commit sucide by shooting themselves three times in the head while driving (according to offical police reports that get written up in the papers).

If they are not visiting USA, Western Europe or Australia they shouldn't even think about getting involved in government cover-ups. And as tourists - why should they care?

J. Weiland
08-24-2006, 04:29 PM
Whatever you do, don't set your story in Alberta Canada. In this Province, no newspapers or other media will touch anything that whiffs of corruption in government. Politicians may take up the case but the Premier shoots them down. Certain agencies of the Alberta Government are not governed by laws which we expect to be covered, like Human Rights.

Sad but true.

Oh, Canada. We stand on guard for theeeee!!! :D

Evaine
08-28-2006, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, especially persephone hellecat - I hadn't thought of the US Consolate (or in my case, the British Embassy) - my 'tourists' found the information by buying a box of old books; the incriminating stuff was hidden inside one of the books.

persiphone_hellecat
08-30-2006, 04:33 AM
You are very welcome. Your scenario sounds very much like a De Mille style story. Check him out.

Evaine
09-01-2006, 01:14 AM
I'll do that - thanks again.

smallthunder
09-04-2006, 03:09 AM
... and every single week people commit sucide by shooting themselves three times in the head while driving (according to offical police reports that get written up in the papers).


Too funny!

Yet, upon second thought, just terrible . . .

Evaine
09-04-2006, 05:14 PM
There was a recent case of a Chinese human rights activist which was something similar - the police report claimed that he had broken his own neck while walking home one night. He's alive, but totally paralysed (and he says the police jumped him).

Kentuk
10-09-2006, 04:47 AM
I would wait until I got back to the States and report it to the CIA. I would also attempt to contact the people responsible for the country or area by not revealing I had information until I was in contact with them. Would not trust the foreign government, nor the consulate and once home wouldn't trust the system to insure the information got to the people who need to know. All too often the inteligence people who most need to know information are the last to be told.

expatbrat
10-09-2006, 08:15 AM
Too funny!

Yet, upon second thought, just terrible . . .

Start reading www.pattayamail.com

It is full of people "falling" out of buildings and shooting themselves in the head.

Anyone who tried to report in incident in a corrupt country is crazy!!! They will end us as a sidewalk splat.