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Settling in for a Long Stay in Paradise

Australian Man Sentenced to 18 Years for Smuggling 1.7 kg of Methamphetamines into Bali.

(4/30/2011) Michael Sacatides, a 43-year-old kick-boxing instructor from Australia,  was handed an 18-year prison term on Monday, April 25, 2011, by the Denpasar Court after being caught in October 2010 with 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamines in his luggage at Bali's international airport.

The sentence handed down by a three-judge panel was 2 years more than that sought by prosecutors.

Sacatides has consistently claimed he was unaware of the drugs concealed within the bag borrowed from an acquaintance in Bangkok.

In handing down the judgment against Sacatides the presiding judge found that the defendant had been proven to have imported a Class I narcotic into Indonesia and in doing so had tried to seriously undermine national efforts to combat narcotic use.

In addition to the 18 year sentence, the Court also imposed a fine of Rp. 1 billion (US$110,000) which if left unpaid will add an additional four months imprisonment to the Australian's sentence.

Sacatides has 7 days from the date of sentencing to decide whether he will accept the sentence or seek an appeal.