CBC investigation exposed serious flaws in case against Ontario man accused of sexually abusing students
CBC News Posted: Feb 28, 2016 11:49 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 28, 2016 11:53 AM ET
Neil Bantleman’s wife urges him to remain strong
The Canadian government’s support of Neil Bantleman has been “extremely helpful” after the shocking twist in Indonesia’s legal case against the school teacher from Burlington, Ont., his wife Tracy said on Sunday.
“What the Canadian government has done in terms of support for Neil — making the statement and having ministers speak out on his behalf — is extremely helpful here in Jakarta and allows the embassy to move fully forward and engage at the highest levels with all the diplomatic tools that they have to find a speedy and just resolution,” she said in an interview with CBC News.
- Neil Bantleman’s wife Tracy calls his Indonesia rearrest ‘inhumane’ and ‘absurd’
- Neil Bantleman in police custody, back in Jakarta
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said Thursday the government “is deeply dismayed and shocked” by an Indonesian Supreme Court decision to overturn Bantleman’s acquittal and add another year to his sentence, on allegations that he sexually abused three children at a private school in Jakarta.
It was the strongest show of public support the government has extended since Bantleman was arrested in 2014.
“It is true that Indonesia needs to rectify the decision. It is an absolute outrage,” she said.
In 2014, Bantleman, 46, and Tjiong, an Indonesian teaching assistant, were convicted on charges of abusing kindergarten students at the Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS), where the children of many expatriates, diplomats and wealthy Indonesians are enrolled.
Boy’s tests came back negative
The program talked to an infectious disease specialist in Toronto and showed him the results of lab tests done on one of the boys for herpes. He said the results, suggesting the boy may have been exposed to the herpes virus, were not reliable and would never stand up in a Canadian court.
“It’s using a test that’s not reliable,” Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti said.
The fifth estate said the woman, who sparked the investigation at the school agreed to get one more independent test done in Europe. The specialist who looked at the results said that test, too, came back negative, “which is the confirmation that this child has never been exposed to herpes.”
She said she urged him to remain strong and calm as he was ordered to return to Cipinang Prison, the same prison in eastern Jakarta where Tjiong was incarcerated on Thursday.