NEWS

Neil Bantleman facing 30 additional days in Jakarta jail

09/11/2014 02:50 EDT | Updated 11/11/2014 05:59 EST
A Canadian held in a Jakarta jail without charges for 60 days is being detained for another 30 days. 

And according to his brother, the cycle of detention without charges, sleeping on the floor in a 10-person cell, could last for up to 120 days in total.

Neil Bantleman, 45, has been detained in an Indonesian jail since mid-July, when he voluntarily went to police for questioning on a trio of alleged sexual assaults that occurred at the Jakarta International School (JIS), where he was employed as a “learning leader.”

Since then, one of the mothers of the victims has decided to sue the prestigious school for $125 million US in damages, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Bantleman, meanwhile, has yet to be charged with anything.

His brother, Guy Bantleman, from Burlington, Ont., said Neil Bantleman was “handed papers” Thursday evening informing him he would be detained for another 30 days.

On Thursday, Neil Bantleman met with Donald Bobiash, Canada’s Ambassador to Indonesia. Guy Bantleman, speaking from Vancouver, said the Canadian government has “one silver bullet” to use to try and pull his brother out of jail. He said they’re cautious about interfering with authorities in different countries.

In mid-August, Neil Bantleman penned a jailhouse letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, calling for help. He claimed there have been human rights violations, and "invasive" and "unsupervised" medical procedures, among others.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not return requests made in August for confirmation and comment.

An investigation into sexual assault at the school began in March, involving one boy at first, a number which later grew to three. Six janitors at the school were charged. Guy Bantleman said trials for five of them have begun. One of the janitors allegedly committed suicide before his trial could begin.

In July, Neil and Ferdinand Tjiong, an Indonesian teaching assistant also arrested in the alleged sexual assault, were brought in for a nine-hour questioning period with police.

They never left.

Trying to make sense of the detainment, Guy Bantleman says he believes the extended detention is to make sure the police show they’ve exhausted all avenues.

“The police want to be seen to have done everything possible,” Guy Bantleman said Thursday.

Neil Bantleman was initially held for 20 days, which was extended to 60 days by police. Guy Bantleman also said that the additional 30 days request with the courts for detainment is rare, and that after these next 30 days, Neil Bantleman can only be held for 30 more without charges before the case is thrown out.

All told, Neil Bantleman could be held for 120 days, roughly four months, without any evidence presented.

Candlelit vigils have been held in Burlington, Ont., where Guy Bantleman resides, as well as in Calgary, where Neil Bantleman used to teach with his wife.

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