Australian boy’s drug trial to start

A 14-year-old boy from New South Wales could face a lengthy jail term in Indonesia after allegedly being caught with drugs while on holiday in Bali.File photo

A 14-year-old Australian boy goes on trial for drug charges in Bali later today.

The teenager, from Morisset Park near Newcastle, is facing three charges including one which carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison for juveniles.

Prosecutors, however, have already indicated they will seek a sentence of just “months”.

If the sentence request is accepted by the judge, the teenager could be released almost immediately after his trial, once time already served is taken into account.

Lawyers for the boy remain hopeful he will escape a custodial sentence and a criminal conviction, and instead be ordered to undergo rehabilitation.

The schoolboy has been in custody since he was arrested on October 4 when he was allegedly caught with 3.6 grams of marijuana.

Police swooped on the boy and a 13-year-old friend outside a supermarket near Kuta Beach in Bali.

His trial, which is due to begin in Denpasar about 9am local time (2pm NZT) with the indictment being read out, is expected to take at least two weeks.

The boy’s lawyer, Mohammad Rifan, said on Monday that his client was depressed ahead of the trial, adding that he had been left traumatised by the media attention given to his case.

-AAP

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