Bali drugs case sees Briton jailed for six years

By Laura Moulden

A British man has been jailed for six years for possession of cocaine in Bali.

Julian Ponder, 43, was found not guilty in regard to smuggling charges but was convicted of carrying 23 grams of cocaine.

In addition to the sentence, presiding Judge Gunawan Tri Budiono also ordered the Briton to pay a fine of one billion rupiah (£65,000).

“The defendant has been proven legally and convincingly guilty of committing a crime of drug possession,” he said.

Ponder was one of four British people arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and last week saw fellow detainee Lindsay Sandiford sentenced to death for her role in the smuggling ring.

The 56-year-old grandmother from Gloucestershire, who is suing the Foreign Office for failing to support her appeal on the sentence, claimed she had been coerced into bringing 4.8 kilograms of cocaine into Bali last May.

“I would never have become involved in something like this but the lives of my children were in danger and I felt I had to protect them,” she said.

Following the trial, Ponder’s defence lawyer Arie Budiman Soenardi told the press that he would advise his client not to appeal against the sentence.

“[The sentence] is quite light, not far from what the prosecutors had asked, so we will soon advise our client to accept it,” he said.

 

Image used courtesy of Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com.

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