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Australian gov. in bid to free boy, 14, after Bali drugs arrest

  1. Docta
    Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd says negotiating the release of an Australian schoolboy being held in Bali on possible drugs charges is a "number one priority".
    The 14-year-old was arrested on Tuesday night near Hotel Padma in Kuta allegedly carrying a stash of cannabis.
    It was unclear how much of the drug he was allegedly caught with. Reports ranged from 6.9 grams to 3.6 grams.

    It is alleged he bought cannabis for the equivalent of $25 from a dealer while on his way to get a massage in Kuta. Police detained him outside a supermarket.
    The boy, who is deeply traumatised, is being held in a room away from adult prisoners at a Denpasar police station.
    He faces doing time in Kerobokan prison,

    Mr Rudd said the boy's parents were deeply distressed by their son's incarceration.
    "I think if you put yourself in the position of being a mum or a dad with a 14-year-old who's got themselves caught up in this situation, your heart would go out to the parents," Mr Rudd said.
    "I have just spoken with our ambassador in Jakarta [Greg Moriarty] and I have indicated to him that his number one priority in the immediate period ahead is how we support this young boy and his family and do everything we can to obtain his early return to Australia."

    The boy is the youngest Australian to be arrested in Indonesia.
    "Regrettably, we know the authorities in Denpasar too well through matters we have had to deal with over the years," Mr Rudd said.
    "I'm not going to be in the business of providing public lectures from abroad on the nature of anyone else's legal regime.
    "We respect those laws and we will work very closely with our friends and colleagues in Jakarta and Denpasar."
    The boy spent a frightening first evening alone at the police station until his parents arrived the next morning.
    The boy had been on holiday with his parents at the luxury resort area of Legian. He was with a friend when he was arrested.

    Lawyer Muhammad Rifan said last night that the boy had been "crying all day" and refusing to eat.
    His parents were depressed and feeling helpless as the enormity of their predicament set in.
    "Just like any other parents, they don't know what to do when their child faces this type of situation," he said.

    Mr Rifan refused to confirm whether the youth admitted to buying the drugs but demanded a urine test be retaken, suggesting concerns with its result. He also called for the investigation to start again from scratch.
    Juveniles are typically treated leniently in Indonesia's courts but often get custodial sentences for drug offences. And as there is no juvenile court system, it is likely he would go to an adult prison if convicted.

    Indonesian courts can commute sentences for drug crimes to a few months, or even waive jail time completely, but there must be evidence that the accused is a drug addict.
    Mr Rifan said if the parents could provide evidence that they had sought treatment for their son in Australia for any addiction, he would probably get off. Otherwise, he could face jail time of six months to four years.
    "[Mr] Rudd has directed that the Australian ambassador in Jakarta and the consul-general in Bali make this their top priority … and seek the early release of the boy," a Foreign Affairs spokesman said.

    The boy could be held at the police lock-up for up to a month while his alleged crime is investigated. If police decide they will proceed with the case, he will be formally charged and face court in Denpasar.
    Drug dealers frequent the throbbing tourist strip around Kuta, often whispering in the ears of passers-by.
    It is not uncommon for dealers to inform police if the buyer is a foreigner, sometimes snaring a lucrative payment for the information. There is no evidence such a scenario unfolded in this case.

    Bali's only under-age prison is a cell in Kerobokan, an already desperately overcrowded jail that is home to a diverse population of hardened criminals and small-time crooks.
    Prisoners mix freely at Kerobokan, where the guards are vastly outnumbered by convicts.

    There was a riot at the jail earlier this year, and several inmates are on death row, including Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
    Murderers and rapists, including infamous child rapist Mochamad Davis Suharto - also known as Codet or Scar - are doing time there as well.

    Cannabis is considered a narcotic in Indonesia on a par with heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
    Mr Rifan would not confirm the teenager's name and urged media organisations not to publish it, saying it was illegal to do so in Indonesia.
    Police also confirmed there would be no "walk of shame" in front of cameras for any under-age offenders.

    October 7, 2011


  1. jon-q
    Lawyer proposes addiction defence in seeking Bali teen's release

    BALI: The 14-year-old NSW boy being held in Indonesia over the alleged possession of cannabis in Bali is in better spirits after refusing to eat for the first two days of his detention.

    The boy, from the central coast, has access to his parents' mobile phones and is communicating with friends and family using Facebook, reportedly posting on the social network site that he ''probably'' would not go to prison.

    His legal team are hoping he may be released under article 128 of Indonesia's drug laws, which allows for those caught with small amounts of drugs to be released if they can prove they are an addict, generally defined as a frequent user of drugs.

    ''It's possible if the parents declared his condition [as an addict] before,'' his lawyer Muhammad Rifan said.

    ''The court can make that decision and return the boy to his parents' care to continue his rehabilitation.''

    The boy has admitted he bought drugs in a second statement to police and told a psychiatrist he has previously used cannabis. Many witnesses at the massage salon where the boy went before his arrest have said he showed them a small plastic bag containing the drug before his arrest.

    The youth has yet to be charged but is being held under laws that carry a maximum six-year prison sentence for juveniles. Any decision to release him on the grounds that he is an addict would not occur until he went to court, which will not be for several weeks.

    A court would also have to consider a separate application for him to be released into the custody of his parents in Bali on welfare grounds while police continue their investigation.

    An Indonesian psychiatrist and welfare officer are expected to submit their reports on his condition early this week.

    The Australian ambassador to Indonesia, Greg Moriarty, yesterday again visited the Denpasar police headquarters where the boy has been held since his arrest on Tuesday and said they had a ''good conversation''.

    Mr Moriarty is expected to meet with Indonesian officials today, while other diplomatic staff from the Australian embassy in Jakarta will meet with officials there.

    Tom Allard
    Brisbane Times 9th Oct 2011

  2. Docta
    Teen held in Bali for drugs to be moved from cell at police headquarters

    [imgr=white]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=22805&stc=1&d=1318377263[/imgr]THE Australian teenager arrested in Bali for drug possession will be moved from police headquarters in Denpasar, possibly before the end of the week.

    Bali Police narcotics squad chief, Colonel Mulyadi, has confirmed the 14-year-old will be moved to another location once prosecutors receive the summary of evidence against him.

    "We are waiting for the request and then we will find a suitable custody for minor," Colonel Mulyadi said on Tuesday.

    "He's still here for a while for sure until the P21 process is complete," he added, referring to the summary of evidence documents which police are in the process of compiling.

    The boy's lawyer has said he is hopeful the summary of evidence will be presented to prosecutors by the end of the week.

    Colonel Mulyadi would not say where the boy would be moved to, but has conceded there are few options for dealing with juveniles.

    The Year 9 student from Morisset Park, south of Newcastle, was arrested last Tuesday after he was allegedly caught with 3.6 grams of marijuana.

    He has spent a week behind bars at police headquarters, but is believed to be in relatively good spirits.

    "He's okay. He is fine," Colonel Mulyadi said.

    Police have completed their investigation, but must wait until they receive a crucial report from welfare officers from the Indonesian corrections department who interviewed the boy last Friday before they can hand the case over to prosecutors.

    It is possible that report, which is understood to have been completed, will be given to the police on Tuesday.

    They are also yet to receive the results of blood and urine tests, which will also be used in the summary of evidence.

    Colonel Mulyadi on Monday confirmed police were looking to deal with the boy under article 128 of Indonesia's narcotics laws, boosting chances that he will avoid jail and instead be forced to undertake rehabilitation.

    Under article 128, those caught with small amounts of drugs are able to be released if they are defined as a frequent user.

    While the boy would still face court, he would avoid a criminal charge.

    The boy had been facing a possible prison sentence of up to six years.

    AAP October 11, 2011 2:52PM
  3. jon-q
    Bali Teen Drug Trial: Australian Boy Sentenced For Drugs

    BALI, Indonesia — An Australian teen was sentenced to two months in detention Friday for buying drugs while vacationing with family on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.

    Presiding Judge Amzer Simanjuntak told the packed Denpasar district court that – when taking into account time already served – the 14-year-old would be freed in just over a week and immediately deported.

    The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, sat sobbing, his head bowed, as his father patted him on the back consolingly while the judge spoke.

    Though he could have faced up to 12 years under Indonesia's tough narcotics laws, the panel of three judges said it decided to be lenient because he admitted to buying 3.6 grams (0.13 ounces) of marijuana from a man in front of a supermarket and repeatedly expressed remorse.

    The teen, who has been in an immigration detention center since his Oct. 4 arrest, earlier promised to enter a drug rehabilitation program if he was allowed to return to his home in Morrisset Park, just north of Sydney.
    He said he had been struggling for some time with his addiction.

    Australia – which has seen dozens of its citizens jailed or placed on death row for drug possession in Indonesia – had been closely watching the trial.
    Many argued the boy was too young to be jailed.

    But critics noted that dozens of Indonesian children tied up in people-smuggling cases have been languishing for years in Australian detention centers.

    Huffington post 25th Nov 2011
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