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Neil Bantleman speaks from behind Indonesian jail bars

12/02/2014 11:00 EST | Updated 02/01/2015 05:59 EST
In a new video from behind bars in an Indonesian prison, Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman says he’s “looking forward to the truth being told.”

As cameras flashed, supporters of the Burlington, Ont., resident, who is facing charges in a sexual assault investigation involving a Jakarta school, called out to him.

“You’re awesome,” one called.

“Who’s at school if you’re all here?” Bantleman asked the crowd, presumably filled with co-workers.

“You’ve got a good sense of humour, honey,” called back another person — likely his wife, Tracy.

- RELATED: Charges, trial expected in Burlington's Neil Bantleman case

Bantleman told reporters that “it’s time for justice."

“It’s time to end corruption in this country,” he said in the video. “We need all the international help and assistance we can get by exposing the truth, exposing justice.”

Bantleman is in court in Jakarta this week to face charges, months after he was taken into custody. He was swept up in a sexual assault investigation after several kindergarten children alleged they were assaulted at the Jakarta International School where he taught.

His family maintains his innocence. Judges will announce their decision whether to proceed with the charges on Dec. 15, after hearing the arguments of Bantleman’s lawyer. But exceptions are rarely granted, said his brother, Guy Bantleman.

The prosecution is expected to call its key witness — one of the children who alleged sexual assault — sometime later this month or in January.

Bantleman and an Indonesian teaching assistant, Ferdinand Tjiong, are in neighbouring cells in Cipinang Penitentiary Institution, a maximum-security prison.

Now that the trial is confirmed, Guy Bantleman described this as “an extremely stressful time.”

He Bantleman said he has heard from Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.

Bantleman taught for 10 years at Webber Academy in Calgary.

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