Thursday, February 25, 2016

Neil Bantleman conviction for sex assault upheld by Indonesia supreme court

Indonesia's Supreme Court on Thursday overturned the acquittal of Neil Bantleman and ordered the Canadian sentenced to prison for sexually abusing students at a private school where he taught.

Indonesian teaching assistant Ferdinand Tjiong also had his original conviction restored.

The Burlington Ont., native and Tijong were originally sentenced to 10 years in prison, verdicts overturned by the Jakarta High Court in August 2015.

However, as Bantleman's passport was revoked, he was not allowed to leave the country pending the government's appeal.

Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi said a three-member judge panel made the decision Thursday, adding an additional year onto their sentences.

"The judge panel concluded that the defendants were proven to have violated the 2007 Child Protection Law," said Suhardi, who uses a single name. "It did not only reinstate the District Court's verdict but also lengthened the sentence to 11 years."

Bantleman and Tijong are also fined the equivalent of $7,440 CDN.

Chandra Saptaji, head of the general crime section at the South Jakarta Prosecutors' Office, said Tjiong was taken from his house early in the day and was now serving his sentence at the Cipinang Prison in eastern Jakarta.

"We are still looking for Bantleman, who is actually under a ban to leave the country," Saptaji said. "Hopefully, he is cooperative and complying with Indonesia law."  (more...)

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