Jakarta Globe, Made Arya Kencana | August 25, 2010
A 61-year-old retired US serviceman in Bali was sentenced to nine months in prison on Wednesday for possession of 8.5 grams of marijuana.
Joseph Michael Malone was vacationing on the resort island when he was arrested at Padang-Padang Beach in South Kuta on April 28.
Police said Malone was trying to dispose of a white bag filled with marijuana as they approached him on the beach.
Detectives from the Denpasar Police later examined the drug and confirmed that it was marijuana.
The court heard that Malone later admitted to police that he had bought the drugs for Rp 8 million ($890) from some sailors while on holiday in Padang, West Sumatra.
The Denpasar District Court found Malone guilty of violating Article 127 of the 2009 Narcotics Law.
“The court sentences the defendant to nine months in prison, with a reduction for time served while the defendant was held awaiting trial,” Judge Sutama said in the verdict.
Indonesia’s drug laws are notoriously heavy. Malone’s sentence, however, was more lenient than the one-year in prison that prosecutors had demanded.
When handing down the verdict, the panel of judges said they took into account the defendant’s remorse and lack of a criminal record in awarding a lighter sentence.
Malone’s lawyer, I Nyoman Jaya, said his client would not file an appeal.
“At the start of the trial, we filed a motion asking that the defendant be acquitted on all charges,” Jaya said. “But since the motion was not granted, we think the sentence is fair.”