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Children Have to Be Carefully Taught

14-Year-Old Australian Boy Gets 2 Month Sentence for Marijuana Possession. To Go Free in One More Week


Bali News: Children Have to Be Carefully Taught
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(11/25/2011)

The 14-year-old Australian boy from News South Wales arrested with marijuana in Kuta on October 4, 2011, was sentenced to two months imprisonment by the Denpasar Courts on Friday, October 25, 2011.

The sentence was one month less than the three months demanded by State Prosecutors.

The juvenile, arrested with 3.6 grams of marijuana in his pocket after he emerged from a backstreet massage parlor, found himself in the eye of a whirlwind of international press and diplomatic attention following his arrest. Citing a past history with drug use in Australia and his age, many called for the boy’s immediate release into his parents’ custody in order that he could return to his studies in Australia.

Protest over how the Indonesian government's handling of the criminal trial of a juvenile spawned counter-accusations, questioning the detenton of Indonesian children in Australian adult jails.

In the course of the close-door proceedings to protect the boy’s identity, reports surfaced that the boy’s parent were negotiating a substantial press deal worth between $200,000 - $300,000 with the Australian print and electronic media. Curious in the source of the rebuttal, that report was later denied by a press agent engaged by the parents of the boy.

The two-month sentence means that the boy has another week to serve in special detention prior to being allowed to fly home on the anniversary of his arrest.

M.Rifan, the attorney hired to represent the boy, told the press he was disappointed with the sentence in light of witnesses and evidence presented in the trial, which, in his opinion, should have persuaded the court to offer rehabilitation over punishment.

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