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Neil Bantleman's lawyers ask Indonesian court to drop child sex charges

12/11/2014 12:12 EST | Updated 02/10/2015 05:59 EST
As Neil Bantleman's legal proceedings continue, his defence attorneys say the prosecutors founded their charges on outdated laws and failed to include dates when alleged crimes occurred. The indictment should be thrown out, they say. 

"The bill was drafted hastily, is unclear and incomplete," said attorney Patra Zen, following a hearing Thursday at the South Jakarta District Court.

The prosecutors' charges have said the alleged sexual assault "occurred at a time that cannot be determined with certainty between January 2013 and March 2014 at... (unclear)", according to a press release from the school Bantleman taught at.

That lack of specificity contradicts the Indonesian criminal code, called the KUHAP, according to Bantleman's attorneys. The code "requires a clear and detailed description of the date when the criminal offence occurred," they say.

The hearing Thursday was for prosecutors to respond to the arguments Bantleman's attorneys had made last week. Courts are expected to make decisions about the various briefs and how to proceed on Tuesday. Bantleman's fellow teachers, parents and students showed up yet again for the hearing, holding signs of support. 

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

The British Ambassador to Indonesia, Moazzam Malik, also visited Bantleman on Thursday, "to assure him he has the full support of the British Embassy in Jakarta and that they are monitoring the case closely," said Guy Bantleman, Neil's brother. Bantleman has both British and Canadian citizenship. Canadian ambassador Donald Bobiash has previously visited with Bantleman.

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.

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