November 04, 2011
Denpasar. A 14-year-old Australian boy gave a tearful testimony before an Indonesian judge on Friday, admitting he bought drugs on the resort island of Bali and claiming to be an addict, prosecutors said.
The teenager, detained for marijuana possession since Oct. 4 on the resort island of Bali, faces a maximum six years in jail. But under Indonesia’s narcotics laws a minor can evade prison and undergo rehabilitation by proving a history of drug use.
“The boy said he’d been addicted to marijuana for 18 months. He admitted someone made him an offer to buy drugs on the beach and he bought it,” prosecutor Agung Atmaja said.
“He was crying and said he was very sorry for his actions. He said he wouldn’t do it again and apologized to his parents. His mother was also crying,” Atmaja said.
Police arrested the teen with 6.9 grams (quarter of an ounce) of marijuana in Bali’s tourist area of Kuta, where he was on holiday with his parents.
The boy’s lawyers called eight witnesses, including the boy, his father, doctors and police.
The strongest evidence in the boy’s favor was a letter by an Australian doctor describing previous drug use, and testimony from local psychiatrist Denny Thong, who has assessed the boy since October 7.
“The psychiatrist said the boy was suffering from depression and couldn’t sleep without the drugs. He was initially persuaded by his friends to try it,” Atmaja said.
The boy’s father assured the court that the family would take responsibility for him if he were returned to Australia, defense lawyer Muhammad Rifan said.
“The parents said they would be really happy if the judge decided he could return to Australia, that they would put him in a rehabilitation and would give him more attention,” he said.
Prosecutors are expected to recommend a sentence at a hearing next Friday.
(as read in the JG)