Monday, July 21, 2014

Indonesia: New Zealander, 37, Sentenced to Ten Months in Prison for Half-Smoked Hash Joint in Bali

According to AFP, New Zealander Leeza Ormsby, 37, has been sentenced to ten months in prison for smoking a hash joint in Bali.

Ormsby was arrested in February 2014 after police raided a villa in the tourist area of Kuta, and found the joint in her bag as well as a large stash of hash and ecstasy in a cupboard.

The 37-year-old, who was based in Sydney before her arrest, admitted to smoking the joint but insisted the other drugs were not hers.

COMMENT: Despite countless warnings throughout Indonesia that violating drug laws can be harsh, everyone incorrectly believes that they will never be arrested.

After investigating, police sought charges against her only over the joint, which contained 0.3 grams of hash, and said that the hash and ecstasy in the cupboard would form part of a separate probe.

Presiding Judge Parulian Saragih told a court in the Balinese capital of Denpasar that Ormsby had been found guilty of illegal drug use, and handed her a 10-month sentence.

It was less than the 15 months sought by prosecutors, but the judge said she had "confessed to the crime and will not repeat it."

Indonesia has some of the world's toughest anti-narcotics laws, including the death sentence for drug-smuggling.

Bali attracts millions of tourists every year with its pristine, palm-fringed beaches, yet foreigners are regularly arrested with drugs on the hard-partying island.