NZ man gets 15 years prison in Indonesia in drug smuggling

AP News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2015 10:24 AM
NZ man gets 15 years prison in Indonesia in drug smuggling

BALI, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian court on Tuesday sentenced a New Zealand man to 15 years in prison for trying to smuggle methamphetamine into the resort island of Bali.

Antony de Malmanche was arrested in December at Bali's airport when custom officers found 1.7 kilograms (3.9 pounds) of methamphetamine in his baggage.

The Denpasar District Court ruled that Malmanche, 53, was guilty of violating the country's anti-drug laws.

The panel of judges led by Cening Budiana also fined Malmanche $300,000 or an additional three months in prison.

It said drug crimes could damage the image of Bali as a tourist destination and set back the government's efforts to eliminate illicit drugs.

State prosecutor Siti Sawiyah sought 18 years' imprisonment for Malmanche.

The court said its sentencing took into account Malmanche's lack of a criminal record.

Malmanche's lawyer, Chris Harno, said he is studying the verdict before deciding whether to appeal.

Indonesia has extremely strict drug laws and convicted smugglers are often executed. More than 140 people are on death row, mostly for drug crimes.

Fourteen people, mostly foreigners, have been executed this year by firing squad, all for drug trafficking.