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Nobody Wants to be Watanabe

Japanese Tourist Gets Five Months Prison for Possessing Less than 1 Gram of Marijuana


Bali News: Nobody Wants to be Watanabe
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(5/12/2013)

A 35-year-old Japanese tourist, Watanabe Sinishi, had been sentenced to 5 months prison after being convicted for possessing 0.72 grams of marijuana when he was arrested at a Kuta, Bali night spot.

The sentence was handed down by the court on May 7, 2013 in the Denpasar District Court and was less than the nine months sought by State prosecutors.

Kompas.com reported that the chief presiding judge Cening Budiana found the Japanese shop owner guilty of breaking the anti-narcotics laws of Indonesia.

In meting out the lighter sentence, the judge found that the man had remained polite throughout the trial process and given straightforward answers to all question put to him during the proceedings.

Upon hearing the court’s ruling, the Japanese man and his lawyer signaled their acceptance of the verdict, while prosecutors have a set period to consider whether or not to appeal the decision and seek a heavier sentence.

Watanabe was arrested on December 23, 2013 when narcotics officers conducted sweeps of a number of nightspots, finding the 0.72 grams of drugs in his backpack. Held in detention since that date, the sentence given by the judge, if not challenged by prosecutors, will mean that the man would be imminently released from detention and allowed to return to his home country.

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