DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — A court on Indonesia’s tourist island of Bali sentenced two Australian men on Monday to nine and 12 months in jail for possessing cocaine.
Former Melbourne nightclub promoters William Cabantog and David Van Iersel were arrested last July in a police raid at the Lost City Club in the island’s trendy Canggu neighborhood with 1.12 grams (.04 ounce) of cocaine in the pocket of Cabantog’s jeans.
A three-member panel of judges at the Denpasar District Court found Cabantog and Van Iersel guilty of possessing and using a Category 1 drug.
Police initially said that Cabantog, 36, who was described as a hospitality consultant, was well known for circulating cocaine in Canggu. The Lost City Club was managed by Van Iersel, 38. But during the trial, the two men were able to convince the judges that the cocaine was only for their own use.
Cabantog was sentenced to 12 months in jail and Van Iersel to nine months, and their lawyers said they accepted the verdict. State prosecutors had been seeking an 18-month sentence for Cabantog and 14 months for Van Iersel.
Indonesia has very strict drug laws and convicted traffickers are often executed by a firing squad. More than 150 people are on death row, mostly for drug crimes, and about a third of them are foreigners.
Eighteen people convicted of drug-related offenses have been executed under the current administration of President Joko Widodo.