NEWS

Charges, trial expected in Burlington's Neil Bantleman case

12/01/2014 11:37 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST
Charges against Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman are expected to be read in court this week, months after he was first taken into custody. 

An indictment will be read in Indonesian court on Tuesday, according to Bantleman's brother, Guy Bantleman. 

From there, the teacher's attorney will submit "exceptions" to the legal charges, which will likely comprise arguments about "issues of due process and lack of evidence," Guy Bantleman said. 

Neil Bantleman's family has maintained the teacher's innocence. Bantleman was swept up in a sexual assault investigation after several kindergarten children alleged they were assaulted at the Jakarta International School where he taught.

Judges will announce their decision about whether to proceed with the charges on Dec. 16 after hearing Bantleman's attorney's arguments. But the family is expecting the case to go to trial, as exceptions are "rarely granted," Guy Bantleman said. Then the prosecution is expected to call its key witness, one of the children who has made allegations of sexual assault, sometime later this month or in January.

Bantleman's family also expects a trial to end this week for several janitors also caught up in the same investigation. 

Bantleman, from Burlington Ont., and Indonesian teaching assistant, Ferdinand Tjiong, have been moved from a police detention centre to neighbouring cells in Cipinang Penitentiary Institution, a maximum-security prison in Jakarta. Bantleman taught for ten years at Webber Academy in Calgary.

- Burlington's Neil Bantleman moves to maximum security prison 

"It has been an extremely stressful time, particularly now that the trial is confirmed," Guy Bantleman wrote in an email Sunday. "Right now, the reality for Ferdi and Neil is that they walk among convicted criminals, the allegations made against them make them targets for ridicule, and the entire experience has been utterly demoralising."

Guy Bantleman said he has heard from Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.

"While both support Neil, there is no intention of the Canadian Government issuing the statement I have requested," he wrote.

MORE:cbcNews