Skip to content
Burlington man to stand up trial on Dki jakarta sex activity abuse charges
‘I knew it was going to happen,’ Neil Bantleman says equally he returns to his 155th day in custody
Jakarta, INDONESIA — A sombre Neil Bantleman walked out of courtroom Tuesday forenoon into the arms of a crying wife, with a prisoner’s belong nevertheless over his dress and a months-long child sex activity abuse trial looming just a week abroad.
“I just want this to be over,” Tracy Bantleman said amid tears as she walked her married man dorsum to his holding prison cell — his 155th mean solar day in custody.
In a hearing at the Due south Jakarta Commune Courtroom in Indonesia’due south capital, judges rejected the Burlington man’s awarding to dismiss his charges, ordering him to stand trial for allegedly raping 3 boys at the international schoolhouse where he taught.
Judges said the prosecution’south case is valid and that some of the defense’south objections are matters to be raised just at trial.
“I knew it was going to happen, I suppose,” Bantleman, 45, said from behind bars, his vocalisation unsteady. “The chances of (such applications) being accepted aren’t very good.”
An Indonesian co-accused, teaching assistant Ferdinant Tjiong, who just turned 43 on Monday, was also ordered to stand trial.
He and Bantleman face sexual assault charges against iii students, historic period five to 6, at the prestigious Dki jakarta Intercultural School — known every bit Jakarta International School at the time of the allegations — and would each get a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
Lawyers for Bantleman and Tjiong were seeking dismissal through an application called an “exception” over what they call vague allegations, financially motivated complainants and citation of out-of-date laws.
Lawyers said the fourth dimension frame for the alleged assaults — sometime between 2013 and 2014 — was too wide to permit Bantleman and Tjiong to defend themselves with alibis.
Lawyers also said the parents of one of the boys, who are suing the schoolhouse for $125 million (U.Due south.) in relation to the allegations, had offered to not press charges if given coin. They said likewise the prosecution’s example is built on old articles of law that were rewritten this year and no longer valid.
In a hearing open to the public, a iii-member panel of judges acknowledged the wide time frame and the citation of out-of-date laws, but accounted them irrelevant in determining whether to proceed to trial.
They said the prosecution had been “meticulous” in preparing its case — though they did not go into details — and that the motive of the complainants is to be raised only at trial.
“The ‘exception’ by the defendant’s legal team is rejected in its entirety,” Primary Judge Nur Aslam Bustaman said through an interpreter to a courtroom of more than than 100 supporters of Bantleman, many wearing T-shirts that read, “Free Neil and Ferdi.”
Bantleman’s subsequent hearing is next Tuesday, when prosecution said the three declared victims will give testimony via video from an undisclosed location; a fellow member of Bantleman’s defense squad has permission to be present. Similar all of Bantleman’s hearings before Tuesday, the next i volition be closed to public.
Prosecution declined to comment about the case.
Outside court, Hotman Paris Hutapea, one of Bantleman’s lawyers, called the charges against his client part of a “fabrication” and says judges glossed over defence arguments about the broad range of dates.
Hotman added the squad volition bring the issue of the rejection of the “exception” to the high courtroom, just that will not disrupt the impending trial.
“The high court volition review that at the same time (as the trial),” he said.
Also before court is Bantleman’due south awarding to be moved to home detention, abroad from the maximum-security Cipinang Penitentiary Institution where he says he fears for his safety.
Only Hotman said information technology is unlikely to be approved because of the attending the case has attracted — unless, he says, the Canadian government “does something.”
Hotman said governments make formal statements about the treatment of its citizens overseas all the time — recently, the Indonesian president voiced concern over treatment of the country’s workers in Malaysia — and such statements tin brand a difference.
He bemoaned what he says is the lack of public support by the Canadian authorities, which has been quiet on the result.
“I fifty-fifty fought (verbally) with two staff from the Canadian embassy some fourth dimension ago,” he said. “I said, ‘Y’all haven’t done enough.’ That’s why they don’t say hullo to me any more.”
Canadian consular officials attended Tuesday’s hearing, every bit they have done for every hearing, but they accept said they were non permitted to speak with media.
Tracy Bantleman said her husband is a dual citizen of the United kingdom and Canada and both countries are jointly providing support, with Canada leading the accuse. She said officials are holding high-level talks with their Indonesia counterparts and are in constant contact.
Merely while British ambassador Moazzam Malik showed up at concluding Thursday’s hearing, the Canadian government has not publicly shown support despite persistent lobbying by Neil Bantleman’s brother in Burlington, Guy Bantleman.
In a alphabetic character to “several senior government officials” sent on Saturday — in addition to some 15 similar letters Guy Bantleman has sent since his brother was arrested in July — Guy Bantleman asked for the regime to issue a formal statement for his brother.
“I have non asked the Canadian regime to pull Neil out of jail,” he wrote, adding that he asks simply the regime request that prosecution’s evidence exist fabricated public and a “fair and transparent process take place.”
“Why is the Canadian authorities and then ineffective in dealing with this request?”
Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Caitlin Workman told the Star: “Consular assistance is beingness provided to Mr. Bantleman also every bit his family unit.
“Senior Canadian officials continue to raise this example with their counterparts and engage local authorities to urge for a fair and transparent trial.”
Neil Bantleman’due south ordeal began in June, when he was named in an ongoing sexual assault investigation. Allegations were initially directed at six school janitors, merely were expanded to include Bantleman and Tjiong.
The men were so subjected to what they allege are shady investigative practices and, for Bantleman, denial of consular access. Bantleman and Tjiong were arrested July xiv and held for more than than 100 days without charges, their case thrown back to police three times earlier prosecutors said on Oct. 29 they would accept information technology.
The six janitors — one of whom died in custody — have already been tried and are to be sentenced in January.
While prosecution allege the janitors raped the boys 13 times, information technology did not specify how many times Bantleman and Tjiong allegedly abused the boys.
Patra M. Zen, who had represented the janitors and is now on Bantleman’s legal team, said medical reports prosecution passed to defence showed no signs of abuse.
Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Folio load link
Go to Pinnacle