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Bali police likely to speed up drug case agai -

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Melbourne barrister Julian McMahon says Indonesian authorities are likely to expedite the
processing of a case against an Australian teenager who's in police custody in Bali after being
arrested for carrying 6.9 grams of marijuana. He says the teenager may avoid a prison sentence
altogether.

TONY EASTLEY: Melbourne barrister, Julian McMahon is experienced when it comes to dealing with
Australians and drug cases in Bali.

He represents convicted drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran and is currently preparing
a clemency application for consideration by the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Julian McMahon is speaking here with AM's Geoff Thompson.

JULIAN MCMAHON: What normally happens is once you get picked up by the police, you are taken to a
police station where you might stay for quite some time, for weeks or even months while they
prepare a case against you and ultimately charge you. You go to Kerobokan prison.

For a young person I'm sure that will happen at extremely high speed. There is obviously a lot of
attention on this case already.

Whether there are charges I understand will take less than a month. I think the rule for children
is 30 days. There is a law for judicial treatment of children. Because he is not married and under
18 he comes into that law and that will guide everything that happens and that, as you would
expect, is a law which facilitates the dealing with children in the prison system or the judicial
system.

GEOFF THOMPSON: With drug offences typically the law is applied quite strictly in Indonesia. Is
that likely to happen to this young man?

JULIAN MCMAHON: Yes, the law is very strict for people who are making money out of drugs like
trafficking and importing/exporting, that kind of thing. Marijuana is the same under Indonesian law
as heroin and cocaine so from the Indonesian point of view this is a serious crime however he
presumably will be charged.

If he is charged with possession which is a much less serious crime and the maximum penalty for
under 18 possession, under 18-year-old with possession would be six years and he would get nothing
like that. He would get some months you would expect if he had to go to jail at all.

GEOFF THOMPSON: So he may get off? This may never even get to court and he may not end up in jail
beyond what he has to endure while he is waiting for charges or for trial?

JULIAN MCMAHON: That's right. The range of options open is very wide. He could, for instance, the
court under the law relating to children, the court could simply return him to his parents. If he
were from a perhaps a lost child on the streets of Jakarta or something, he could be handed over to
social security and the state for the purposes of education and training.

Obviously that won't happen here or he could just go to jail like any other person and basically go
through the system as an adult but with various leniencies built in because he is a child.

GEOFF THOMPSON: In the past some Australians have been picked up in sting operations by the police
when they have been sold marijuana by an operative or at least an informant. Is there at least a
possibility that that's what happened here?

JULIAN MCMAHON: That he was picked up by a sting operation?

GEOFF THOMPSON: Yes.

JULIAN MCMAHON: Well, yeah it is quite likely. I mean that seems to be what happens much of the
time there - that people spot Australians or Europeans who want to buy a drug. They sell it to them
and the police are watching or get involved very quickly and the person who sells the drug has some
kind of arrangement where they would dob someone in to the police. That is quite common.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Should this be a cautionary tale for any Australians who have - holidaying in Bali
with teenagers?

JULIAN MCMAHON: Oh well, I'm pretty basic on this stuff. They shouldn't be taking drugs in
Indonesia, full stop. There is just no room for compromise or flexibility on that issue. Anyone who
takes drugs in Indonesia is basically a fool.

TONY EASTLEY: Melbourne barrister, Julian McMahon speaking there with AM's Geoff Thompson.