Aus fighting to get boy drug suspect home

2011-10-07 14:31

Canberra - Australia's foreign minister said on Friday that he will do everything possible to secure the return of a 14-year-old boy arrested for alleged marijuana possession while on a family vacation in Indonesia.

The boy, who cannot be named as a child criminal suspect under Indonesian law, has been held at Denpasar police headquarters on the tourist island of Bali since he was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly buying a small quantity of marijuana from a man on Kuta Beach.

His lawyer, Muhammad Rifan, said the boy faces a maximum sentence of six years if convicted of possessing 7 grams of marijuana, which under Indonesian law is treated the same as heroin or cocaine.

Boy not with other prisoners

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told radio station 3AW that his job was to "do everything possible to get this little bloke home".

However, he noted it could take some time, saying "there are real challenges that we face here, and I think we've all got to be patient".

Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the boy's incarceration as "an incredibly distressing circumstance". She said the boy was being held apart from other prisoners.

Indonesia's foreign ministry spokesperson Michael Tene said that while the case was still under investigation, "everybody should know by now that illegal drugs in Indonesia will bring very severe penalties".

The boy, from Morrisset Park, north of Sydney, was on vacation with his parents when he was arrested.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Friday that the boy told police he bought the marijuana because he felt sorry for the alleged dealer, who said he had not eaten for a day.

Rudd said the boy's parents had taken turns spending Thursday night with their son at the police jail.

Lawyer Rifan said the boy was angry, crying and depressed in custody. He can be held for 30 days without charge.

6-year sentence ‘not likely’

Rifan said the arresting police officers broke Indonesian rules for dealing with child suspects by not allowing the boy's parents to be present during his interview.

He said that a senior narcotic law enforcement officer had later assured him that the boy's legal rights would be respected.

Julian McMahon, a Melbourne lawyer representing two Australians on death row in Bali for smuggling heroin in 2005, said the boy need not fear the maximum six-year sentence.

"He would get nothing like that. He would get some months, you would expect, if he had to go to jail at all," he told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.

Australian media have reported the boy is the youngest Australian to be arrested under Indonesia's tough drug laws.

People convicted of smuggling or possessing drugs in Indonesia are often executed by firing squad. More than 140 prisoners are on death row in the country, including more than 50 foreigners.

  • Flee - 2011-10-07 14:41

    Well dont you think that maybe one of the parents should do the 6 years for him, cause they have a little brat smoking week in a country that nails you for thinking about drugs... "Felt sorry for the Dealer"... My Ass

      Peter Potgieter - 2011-10-07 14:51

      Why don't you read the full story, the boy said he brought the weed from the dealer because he felt sorry for him because he had not eaten in days...... Dealers will do anything to sell drugs including manipulation

      Komasa - 2011-10-07 15:06

      Another stereotype justification.

      Mya - 2011-10-07 15:24

      So Flee, you never ever experimented with marijuana? Or never ever did anything your parents told you not to do? How can you blame the parents? Kids of 14 push all limites of new independance. He has surely learnt his lesson and will probably NEVER buy weed again!

      Billy - 2011-10-07 16:28

      @Peter Potgieter - don't be an ignorant ass! If he felt sorry for the dealer he could have given him the money without accepting the weed in return!

      Flee - 2011-10-07 16:54

      THANK YOU BILLY... as my last sentence read... which Peter clearly didnt... Mya... At 14 his parents are LEGALLY Liable for his actions... And in one of the strictest countries in the world... DAH!!!

  • Barry M - 2011-10-07 14:50

    If you are old enough to do the crime - you are old enough to do the time. That will learn him!!!

      novak - 2011-10-07 14:58

      someone needs to learn you how to spoke the engels

      Telara - 2011-10-07 15:01

      *teach* him :) I agree wholeheartedly Barry.

      Barry M - 2011-10-07 15:50

      Novak - there is absolutely nothing wrong with my English, or my Afrikaans for that matter - I am fully aware that "teach" is the correct wording - just where I grew up the folk used to say "it will learn him - normally followed by an "ek sê" - Let’s just say old habits die hard, and I like the expression "stukkend ek sê"!!!

      Billy - 2011-10-07 16:37

      Barry - you will always get little smartass people like novak who can't contribute, but can criticise. I understand the idiom you were using - maybe novak will too when he gets to his teens.

  • I Are Bender - 2011-10-07 15:01

    Shame get the boy out. I know tourist scams can land you in trouble there and I think this is one of those cases. I wish they enforced the law here in South Africa like the do in Indonesia. Drug dealing = Firing Squad (Nice).

      Komasa - 2011-10-07 15:08

      Gene bender?

  • Fred - 2011-10-07 15:05

    Just added, lying to the police to his crimes, why is everybody up in arms about this, he broke the law he must do the time, no sympathy for drug dealers.

  • Komasa - 2011-10-07 15:09

    Kangaroo mentality.

  • Gallows - 2011-10-07 15:14

    Marijuana the same as heroine and cocaine >.> christ, can't imagine what they would do to you for having a cup of coffee. Have a beer and you're drawn and quatered.

  • I Are Bender - 2011-10-07 15:17

    Me thinks all of yous who feels nothinf for the boy should go and see how these drug dealers operate over there. Some of them con you so well and before you know it, the law is on you. Me thinks they target peoples to get them caught.

  • Eastafrican - 2011-10-07 15:26

    Sorry but I have no sympathy. It is a well known fact how strict these countries is with drugs. And a 14yr old is old enough to understand. I also agree that I find the boy's excuse a bit lame and not very believable. I wish more countries want to take that attitude. It will destroy the drug market.

      Agnostic - 2011-10-07 16:09

      It won't destroy the drug market. They are still selling there aren't they?

      simplyme - 2011-10-07 17:06

      Not as much as they sell here by a very great margin Agnostic!

  • numbpty - 2011-10-07 15:38

    Dont know the kid, dont know the parents. Do know the laws of Indo though! Dont go near drugs of any sort! Simple, yet so many people still do stupid things.

  • bonkypants - 2011-10-07 15:41

    Seriously, Australia? Indonesia is well-known for their extremely hard line on drugs, and have executed a number of Australians over the past decade or so for bringing drugs into the country. Will you not learn? How many more of you must be hanged or imprisoned (for many years) before you stop being so stupid. DO NOT TAKE DRUGS TO INDONESIA FOR THEY WILL PUNISH YOU SEVERELY. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS BY NOW. How $#$%#$ difficult is that?!

      numbpty - 2011-10-07 15:53

      While i share your sentiments. Its not just them, I met some pretty stupid acting South Africans over there too, that could be sharing a cell with some of them quite easily. It is a shame anyone is dumb enough to cross the line over there.

      Thomas - 2011-10-07 16:44

      HE DID NOT TAKE DRUGS TO INDONESIA, MY BRAAI IMPAIRED FRIEND (COUPLA CHOPS SHORT) HE BOUGHT THEM THERE! As usual the users and addicts are being punished while the dealers, growers (in this case)and drug syndicates are making a killing, no pun intended. Get to the root of the evil.

  • OnlyaGinger - 2011-10-07 17:19

    Marijuana possession shouldn't be a punishable offense- end of story. Marijuana is not like heroin or cocaine, nor alcohol You can say what you want about laws etc- fact is marijuana is a plant that grows naturally upon this earth and I reserve the right to use it as i please. Marijuana is organic, harmless to most people and a powerful aid for many conditions- same cannot be said for big pharma- i say screw the laws! Shame for the kid- I hope he gets off unharmed- its ridiculous to arrest someone for the possession of a herb!!! its absurd and unjust

      Eastafrican - 2011-10-08 06:32

      It is definitely not a herb but a powerful drug and act as a steppingstone towards even more powerful drugs. Even the Dutch government is realizing it now and is going to ban the normal marijuana and allow only weaker extracts. You say screw the laws? What a dumb statement. If you do that your sort will be hanged from the first tree when parents find you selling marijuana to their kids.

      OnlyaGinger - 2011-10-08 09:33

      1. I will never SELL weed- i have no interest in that- I was saying that it is my bloody right to consumme whatever HERB i'd like. 2. It is a herb, or actually a fruit- it is the fruit that the cannabis plant bears, unlike other hard drugs, it is consumed in an unprocessed form. Are you saying God made a mistake when he created the cannabis plant? You surely arnt thinking that you are smarter than nature do you? The dutch govt is a whole other ballgame- they have thousands of tourists flooding areas to smoke legally- if weed was legal everywhere this wouldnt be a problem and also people would stop making a bid deal of it. It is NOT A STEPPING STONE- most hard drug users start on alcohol and cigarettes, not weed,I know many weed smokers- of all ages and professions- none of them abuse other harder drugs- or are even alcoholic- why dont the govt ban alcohol if they are so concerned for their welfare? alcohol and cigarettes kill millions every year- weed- none. How many killers go on a rampage after smoking a bong? none. how many men beat their wives or children after a night out drinking- more than we car to count. get informed- you've been duped by lies.

  • Madamm - 2011-10-08 22:49

    This is a direct result of appeasement during the Schapelle Corby case. Australia needs a wake up call. And here it is: Read the reports on there. See the Australian government's cables. Try the Transit Report: the letters in which they WITHHOLD CRITICAL PRIMARY EVIDENCE from Schapelle Corby, that her bag was THE ONLY BAG not scanned at Sydney! Read the lies, by their own hand. Watch them cover the shambles and criminality at Sydney airport by selling a citizen they knew to be innocent. It is a Watergate, but not one Australian newspaper is reporting it!!! It is called a whispered D-Notice. This poor lad? It is what you get when you go down that path. When you signal to a state like Indonesia that the human rights of your citizens don't matter, you end up with a kid in jail. Well done ex-PM John Howard. Are you happy? Schapelle Corby is next. She has been there for over 7 years, and is dying. The Australian government don't give a hoot, as they have nicely tranquilized their public with smears. Australia, eh? Nice.

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