I want to thank everyone for the incredible coverage that you provided Neil and our family today. The last 48 hours have been extremely difficult. At this time Neil is in Jakarta and in the custody of the Prosecutor. Neil was accompanied by Canadian Consular officials and his legal team as he reported to the Prosecutor’s office late on Thursday February 25th, 2016. He will …continue to be processed and will likely return to Cipinang Prison on Friday.
While this is not the outcome that had anticipated, our resolve is even greater to achieve a full acquittal for all individuals involved in this case.
The lack of a truly transparent legal process, that is balanced and objective is extremely disappointing, and we will now utilize the diplomatic channels to achieve justice.
While a Judicial Review is an available appeal in this case, and one we will pursue, based on previous experiences with the Indonesian judicial system, we would be cautiously optimistic for a positive outcome.
We are encouraged by the strong support shown by both the Canadian and U.S. Governments, among others, and we will work with the Government for a resolution.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said in a statement Thursday morning that the Canadian government is “deeply dismayed and shocked” by the Supreme Court’s decision.
“This decision is unjust, given the many grave irregularities throughout the various proceedings in this case and the fact that all evidence presented by the defence has systematically been rejected. Mr. Bantleman and Mr. Tjiong were not provided the opportunity to demonstrate their innocence,” Dion said. “Despite Canada’s repeated calls for due process, this case was not handled in a fair and transparent manner.”
Dion said the outcome of the case has “serious implications” for Indonesia’s reputation as a safe place for Canadians to work and travel.
U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Robert O. Blake made the following comment on the Supreme Court verdict:
“We are shocked and disappointed by the decision announced by the Supreme Court to sentence two international school teachers. In August 2015, the Indonesian High Court found that there was not sufficient evidence to support their conviction. It is not clear what evidence the Supreme Court used to overturn their decision. The international community continues to closely follow this case. The outcome of the legal process will impact international views about the rule of law in Indonesia.”
I would also like to acknowledge the worldwide love and support that we have received throughout this ordeal, and more specifically over the past few days. Every message, email and comment on social media provides strength and encouragement. This fight will go on, and we will not relent until true justice is achieved.
Guy Bantelman (Brother of Neil Bantelman)