Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Australian man denies owning drug stash

AN Adelaide man facing up to 10 years in a Bali prison for drug possession has denied owning a stash of hashish allegedly found at his rented bungalow.

John Julian Pyle, 42, is an internet businessman and frequent Bali visitor who is on the anti-drugs education committee of the Ubud Rotary Club.

He faces a maximum of 10 years' jail if found guilty of possessing a 1.8 grams of hashish.

Pyle, whose trial began today, has admitted owning 0.8 grams of the drug found at his bungalow in Gianyar, just outside the mountain tourist village of Ubud in early May, his lawyer Rifan Mohammad said.

But he denied owning the other 1.0 gram, saying it had belonged to an Indonesian woman he met at a bar in Ubud and took back to his bungalow, Mohammad said.

"He had some girl come to his house, and that girl brought that 1.0 gram of hash," Mohammad said after the charges against Pyle were read out in Gianyar District Court.

The woman's full identity and whereabouts are unknown.

Pyle claims he is not a resident of Bali but spends many months of each year on the island.

He appeared relaxed as prosecutor Dayu Surasmi told the court that police searched his bungalow on May 8 and found 1.8 grams of hashish allegedly bought in Kuta for 200,000 rupiah ($A27) per gram.

Pyle denied owning 1.0 gram found wrapped in plastic under a table cloth on a desk.

But he admitted owning 0.1 gram found inside a condom box and another 0.7 gram found inside bottles in a kitchen cupboard, Surasmi said.

His urine also tested positive for hash use, she added.

Surasmi said Pyle had admitted being addicted to the drug.

"He has been using this hashish for 25 years," she told the three judges.

"He uses it everyday."

Pyle faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if found guilty of the primary charge of possessing a category-1 narcotic under article 78 of Indonesia's tough anti-drugs law.

He also faces up to four years' jail if found guilty of a secondary charge relating to illegal drug use.

Dressed in a green and gold shirt and black slacks, Pyle had earlier arrived at the court un-handcuffed and was seen talking and joking in Indonesian with his police guard in a small holding room.

He would not speak to journalists except to say he was being treated well at Gianyar police station, where he has been held since his arrest.

The trial was adjourned until July 12.

By herbs 5 July 05


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UK: This absolutely preposterous idea/theory of allowing a person/s to be possibly charged with 'possession', if found to have a drug substance within their bloodstream, just goes to prove such hypocrisies which certain hierarchies feel justifies passing legislation, is another blow for democracy!

Currently, 214 Australian citizens are languishing in prisons around the world. The majority of these having been convicted of drug-related crimes.