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Australian tourist, 14, gets 2 months for buying drugs in Bali

MSNBC 11/26/2011 23:17
Australian tourist, 14, gets 2 months for buying drugs in Bali - Indonesia - crime - drugs - Asia


An Australian teen was sentenced to two months in detention Friday for buying drugs while vacationing with family on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.



Presiding Judge Amzer Simanjuntak told the packed Denpasar district court that — when taking into account time already served — the 14-year-old would be freed in just over a week and immediately deported.

"It's better to give a jail sentence, but the shortest possible, which would enable him to be given back to his parents sooner," Simanjuntak said, according to a report in the Herald Sun newspaper.

The prosecutors had asked for a three-month sentence.

The boy, who cannot be identified by name because of his age, sat sobbing, his head bowed down, as his father patted him on the back consolingly while the judge spoke.

Remorse

Though he could have faced up to 12 years under Indonesia's tough narcotics laws, the panel of three judges said it decided to be lenient because he admitted to buying 0.13 ounces of marijuana from a man in front of a supermarket and repeatedly expressed remorse.

The teen, who has been in an immigration detention center since his Oct. 4 arrest, earlier promised to enter a drug rehabilitation program if he was allowed to return to his home in Morrisset Park, north of Sydney.

He said he had been struggling for some time with his addiction.


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