Welcome Home Bali Drugs Boy!

By J Hitipeuw

–> from the previous title “Bali Drugs Boy Arrives Home in Australia

Bali Drugs Boy went homeA 14-year-old Australian boy convicted of drug possession on the Indonesian resort island of Bali arrived back in Sydney on Monday after two months in detention.

The high school student, whose fate had been the focus of intense diplomatic discussions between the near neighbours, evaded the waiting media after landing at Sydney Airport on Monday morning. But the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed his return.

It is welcome news that the boy has now returned home to Australia following completion of his sentence,” a spokeswoman said. The boy, who has worn a balaclava to hide his identity and whose family have requested privacy, was released from Indonesian custody at the weekend and left the resort island accompanied by his father.

The teen had admitted to carrying 6.9 grams (quarter of an ounce) of marijuana when he was arrested on October 4 in the tourist area of Kuta, where he was on holiday with his parents. On November 25 he was sentenced to two months in jail for marijuana possession, but the court took into account the time he had already spent in immigration detention.

Prosecutors had asked for a three-month jail term for the boy under a drug possession charge that carries a maximum of two years’ imprisonment for minors.
His lawyers had attempted to have him acquitted, arguing he should undergo rehabilitation instead.

New South Wales state Premier Barry O’Farrell said the boy’s ordeal should serve as a warning to others travelling to Bali, long a popular tourist destination for Australians.

When people travel to other countries they need to understand the laws of those countries, particularly when it comes to issues around drugs, and they need to respect those laws,” he told reporters.

Several Australians have been arrested for drug possession on Bali in recent years, including two traffickers on death row and six serving life sentences in Kerobokan prison.

December 5, 2011
(Source AFP, Kompas /Image theage)

J. Hitipeuw. Kompas journalist.


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3 Responses to Welcome Home Bali Drugs Boy!

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