Made Arya Kencana
Denpasar. Judges at the Denpasar Municipal Court on Monday sentenced Australian Edward Norman Myatt to eight years in jail for smuggling hashish and crystal methamphetamine.
“The crime conducted by the defendant sullied the image of Bali as a tourist destination,” Gunawan Tri Budiono, who headed the panel of judges, said as he read the verdict.
Myatt, 54, was found with slightly more than one kilogram of hashish and five grams of methampethamine that he tried to smuggle via 72 capsules he ingested. Authorities at Nugrah Rai international airport reportedly became suspicious when they noticed Myatt — who flew to Bali from Bangkok on Feb. 27 — with an abnormally large belly, and rushed him to a hospital to scan for contraband.
Myatt tried briefly escaped, but officers quickly caught and re-arrested him. The 54-year-old eventually discharged the capsules.
The verdict was much lighter than the 15 years sought by the prosecutors — there were also rumors that Myatt might face the death penalty when he was first arrested.
Judges also ordered him to pay a fine of Rp 1.5 billion, or face and additional four months in prison.
The hairdresser, who lives in London, said he bought $1,250 worth of drugs for personal consumption. “I have been an addict since the age of 16 and consume 10 grams per day,” he said, adding that failure to take drugs makes him paranoid and unable to sleep.
Myatt said he would accept the verdict, while prosecutor Atmaja said he was disappointed.
“It is much lower than the recommendation we made, but we are still thinking whether to appeal,” he said.