Jakarta | Wed, June 22 2016 | 06:51 pm
Former Jakarta Intercultural School employees Neil Bentleman (left) and Ferdinant Tjiong wait for a court hearing at the South Jakarta District Court on April 3, 2015. Bantleman and Tjiong were initially each sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined Rp 100 million for sexual abuse.(JP/Awo)
The Indonesian government has asserted that Canada cannot intervene in the legal case of Canadian Neil Bantleman, a former Jakarta Intercultural School teacher who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the sexual assault of minors, but said a second appeal could be filed to challenge the Supreme Court ruling.
The statement came following a request by Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Maurice Dion on June 3 for a copy of a Supreme Court ruling in February that overturned the acquittal of Bantleman and teacher’s assistant Indonesian Ferdinant Tjong, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.
The government met the request on June 9.
In a meeting with top officials at the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, it was agreed that the Canadian government could not intervene in the case but a second appeal could be filed according to standard legal procedures.
Bantleman and Ferdinant were initially sentenced to 10 years for the sexual abuse of three kindergartners in April last year. The two filed an appeal with the Jakarta High Court, which overturned the guilty verdict and acquitted them of all charges. The Supreme Court later overturned the high court’s ruling and increased their sentences to 11 years in prison in February. (liz/rin)