Friday, February 26, 2016

Indonesia ‘penalizing itself’ by overturning Neil Bantleman acquittal: Dion

The Indonesian Supreme Court is shooting itself in the foot by overturning a lower court’s acquital of the sex abuse charges against Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says.

“Already today, Indonesia is penalizing itself because the confidence people may have about the ability to do business in Indonesia, to have justice in Indonesia, has been jeopardized by the decision of the Supreme Court yesterday,” Dion said in a scrum with reporters after question period on Thursday. “Do you feel more secure today to be involved in Indonesia or less secure? Of course we are less secure, everyone.”

Bantleman, 45, and Indonesian teaching assistant Ferdinant Tjion were convicted in April 2015 by the South Jakarta District Court for sexually abusing three kindergarten students between 2013 and 2014 at Jakarta’s prestigious Jakarta International School.

They were sentenced to 10 years in prison but a local appeals court overturned that verdict in August 2015, acquitting both men of the charges.

But the Supreme Court said that acquittal would not stand, reinstating the convictions and lengthening the sentences from 10 years to 11 years.  (more...)


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