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Des '05

Aussie Miner Gets 10 Months For Drugs

An Australian man working for a mining company in East Kalimantan province has been sentenced to 10 months in jail and fined Rp3 million ($305) for possession of shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine).

John Michael Kelly (45), an employee of Australian engineering and construction contracting company Thiess, was convicted on Thursday (8/12/05) at Sangatta District Court of possession of 0.5 grams of shabu-shabu and paraphernalia to consume the drug.

He was arrested on September 17 in a hotel room in Sangatta town after police received a tip-off from the hotel’s security guards, who said they had seen the Australian and a local woman smoking the drug. Police seized a small packet of shabu-shabu, a bong, a candle, a cigarette lighter and Kelly’s four-wheel drive vehicle as evidence.

Kelly had reportedly been working in the province’s East Kutai district for three years as a supervisor for local coal mining firm PT Kaltim Prima Coal.

Police had told the court that Kelly was with a 24-year-old prostitute named Erna when they raided Room No.302 of the Amar Hotel. It was unclear whether the woman was tried.

Kelly has already spent three months behind bars and is therefore expected to be released in July 2006.

Kelly’s lawyer Arianto said he was unlikely to appeal the verdict because the sentence was relatively light. The Australian had been charged under Article 62 of Law No.5/1997 on Psychotropic Substances, which carries a maximum jail sentence of five years and a maximum fine of Rp100 million for possession of such drugs.

Chief prosecutor Waluyo Heryawan had earlier recommended Kelly be sentenced to 18 months and fined Rp5 million.

The three judges presiding over the case – Margono, Silaban and Bambang – said the sentence was lenient because Kelly had cooperated with police, and been polite and frank during the trial.

Arianto had argued that Kelly should receive as lenient a sentence as possible – not more than nine months - because it was his first offense, he had expressed remorse and promised not to repeat his crime, and he had three children in Australia to support.

The lawyer said Kelly had bought the shabu-shabu from a stranger at a hotel in Balikpapan and was only trying it for the first time. Kelly reportedly paid Rp1 million for the drug on September 14 and Rp50,000 for the bong the following day.

During his appearances in court, Kelly had taken to wearing Islamic clothing and said he had been studying Islam.

Kelly is originally from the town of Warwick in the Darling Downs area of Queensland state. Police had said Kelly gave his current Australian address as Forrestfield suburb near the Western Australia capital of Perth.

1 Year Sought For Teacher
In the North Sumatra capital of Medan, prosecutors on Thursday recommended a one-year jail sentence for Australian citizen Graham Clifford Payne (21) for alleged possession of shabu-shabu.

Payne, who had been teaching English in Medan, was arrested on August 20 after police stopped his motorcycle taxi during a routine anti-drug operation and found a package containing 0.1 grams of shabu-shabu inside a packet of cigarettes in his pocket.

Police later searched his house and found 2,000 ephedrine pills and five used syringes containing traces of heroin.

Payne, who is from the South Australian capital of Adelaide, has admitted to using shabu-shabu “to relive stress” but denied being a dealer. He said he only used the ephedrine for fever and allergy.

He could face a maximum of 15 years in prison under the charges of possession of narcotics and psychotropic substances.

Defense lawyer Karle Sitanggang intends to ask for leniency when the trial resumes on December 15, on the grounds that Payne was being treated for bipolar depression in Australia.

He has argued that Payne did not use heroin, claiming that traces of the drug in the syringes were from shabu-shabu.

Sumber : (Roy Tupai) Paras Indonesia

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