Australian woman apologizes over death of policeman on Bali

AP News
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Posted: Feb 28, 2017 10:52 AM
Australian woman apologizes over death of policeman on Bali

BALI, Indonesia (AP) — An Australian woman on trial with her British boyfriend in the death of a police officer on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali expressed deep regret Tuesday and apologized, but said she did not personally kill the victim.

Prosecutors are seeking eight-year prison terms for Sara Connor and David James Taylor, who were arrested last August in the death of traffic police officer Wayan Sudarsa, whose bloodied body was found on the beach outside the Pullman Hotel in the popular tourist area of Kuta.

They are charged with committing violence leading to death, which carries a maximum 12-year prison term under Indonesia's criminal code.

"If this is what God had planned for my life, to punish me so harshly and deprive my children of their mother, I hope he will give my children the strength to cope," Connor, weeping, told Denpasar District Court in her defense plea.

Connor, 46, said she believed her boyfriend when he told her the assault was not serious.

Taylor has admitted hitting the Indonesian repeatedly with a cellphone, binoculars and a broken beer bottle, leaving him face down and unconscious. But he said he didn't realize Sudarsa would die.

Connor and Taylor had been drinking beer on the beach in the hours before the late-night incident. Taylor has said he got into a fight with Sudarsa, who was on duty, after Connor realized she had lost her handbag and accused Sudarsa of being a fake police officer and stealing it.

Connor said she never tried to escape, even though she said she could have fled using her Italian passport which has a different surname.

"I deeply regret and I apologize for any mistakes made unknowingly and unintentionally by me but none of my actions caused the death of the victim," she said. "I feel terribly sorry for all the pain that this situation has created."

She expressed deep condolences and sadness to the victim's family, to the Balinese people, to Indonesia, and to her family, especially her children.

The trial is to resume Thursday for the prosecutors' response.