Australian Faces 15 Years on Drugs Charge
An alleged Australian drug smuggler is facing a possible 15 years in prison at Denpasar District Court.
Edward Myatt, 54, who is originally from Ballarat in Victoria and who holds dual British and Australian citizenship, was arrested on February 27 after arriving on a flight from Bangkok. He was found to have 1.1 kilograms of hashish in capsules inside his body.
A total of 72 capsules of hashish and one of crystal meth were recovered from his intestines. The drugs had an estimated street value of Rp679 million.
The so-called “body-packing” method of drug smuggling has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, but Myatt was the first Australian caught while using the method. He attempted to escape while being transported by police after his arrest.
During the trial this week, public prosecutors called on judge Gunawan Tri Budiono to issue a 15-year sentences.
“The defendant has been proven guilty of illegally importing the drugs,” said prosecutor Gusti Putu Atmaja, adding that he should also be issued with a Rp2-billion fine, or face an additional six-months in prison.
Myatt’s lawyer, Nyoman Sudiantara, said the Australian had brought the drugs to Bali for personal use and therefore deserved a lighter sentence. He said he was a self-proclaimed addict.
“My client has been an addict since he was 16 years old and he has shown remorse,” Sudiantara said.
During an earlier stage of the trial, Myatt told the court that he had a long-standing addiction, and typically used 10 grams of hashish each day. He claimed he had smuggled the drugs to ensure his supply while in Bali. He had previously visited the island on six separate occasions.
The trial has been adjourned until 23 July when the judges will deliver the verdict.