Sunday, November 13, 2011

Three Months’ Jail Sought for Aussie Drug Teen


Prosecutors recommended on Friday a three-month jail sentence for an Australian teenage boy charged with drug possession on the resort island of Bali.

The 14-year-old boy was facing a maximum sentence of six years’ imprisonment after being caught in Bali last month with nearly seven grams of marijuana while on holiday with his parents.

“We demand the defendant spend three months in prison, less than the usual sentence time. We have taken into consideration that he is a child and that his behaviour can change,” prosecutor I Gusti Putu Gede Atmaja said after the closed-door hearing.

Under articles 127 and 128 of Indonesia’s narcotics law, if the boy as a minor has a documented history of drug use, he could escape a prison term altogether and undergo rehabilitation instead.

“We have asked for the boy to be excused under article 127 and 128, all our evidence and witnesses support that. We hope the judge will rule fairly,” the boy’s lawyer, Muhammad Rifan, said.

The defence has provided the court with a letter from an Australian doctor describing the boy as a drug user, and a local psychologist who has examined the boy since he was arrested more than a month ago supported the argument.

The boy has been detained since October 4, when police arrested him in Kuta.

The judge’s verdict is scheduled for November 25.

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