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A Hard Sentence to Swallow

Bali Prosecutors Seeking 18 Years Prison for 8 Iranians Who Tried to Smuggle Narcotics Concealed in their Digestive Tracts.

(5/22/2010) Bali's prosecutors have asked that 8 Iranian men standing trial in Denpasar for smuggling methamphetamine (sabu-sabu) be sentenced to 18 years in prison.

The eight men are: Daryoush Omid Ali, Alireza Safarkhanloo, Bahman Mirzaei, Mehdi Alinejad Golestan, Mohsen Mohammad Argasi, Saeid Soltani Nabizadeh, Masoud Soltani Nabizadeh and Shahbazi Saeid.

7 of the defendants were arrested as a group trying to smuggle 4.7 kilograms of the narcotic carried in 602 capsules. The eighth man, Shahbazi Saeid, was arrested separately at Bali's airport carrying 22 capsules.

All the men were arrested in December 2009 at Bali's airport with the methamphetamine concealed in condoms carried in their guts.

According to Beritabali.com, the 8 men are being tried separately in simultaneous hearings at Bali's district court.

If the panel of judges accept the punishment sought by prosecutors, the men would be imprisoned for 18 years and each fined Rp. 2 billion (US$217,000). Prosecutors told the judges that the men's criminal act was in direct opposition to the Indonesian government's program to prevent the use of narcotics and had damaged the reputation of Bali and the nation.

M. Husein, the attorney defending the men, declared the sentence sought by prosecutors as unduly harsh, claiming that his clients thought they were smuggling jewels, not narcotics.

The trials resume on June 1, 2010.