Aust man goes on trial for drugs in Bali

February 13, 2018

Australian accountant Isaac Emmanuel Roberts (file) has gone on trial in Bali for possessing drugs.

A court in Indonesia has begun the trial of an Australian man accused of possessing methamphetamine and ecstasy.

Isaac Emmanuel Roberts, 35, was arrested at Bali's Ngurah Rai airport on December 4 after arriving from Bangkok.

Customs officers seized 14.3 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 14 ecstasy tablets from his luggage.

His trial began on Monday at the District Court in Denpasar, Bali's capital, where prosecutors said he violated anti-narcotics laws. If found guilty, he could face from four years to life in prison.

An accountant and one-time federal election candidate, Roberts was paraded before the media by Bali police in orange prison garb and a balaclava on December 20.

At the time, Roberts suggested he had been set up by Indonesian authorities and labelled his arrest "ridiculous". He also said he was an addict and hadn't intended to sell the drugs.

Roberts was the Liberal Democratic Party's candidate for the federal seat of Higgins in 2009 after former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello resigned from parliament. He received only 336 votes in the by-election, which was won by LIberal Kelly O'Dwyer.

He also won the National Advanced Tax Dux Award in 2012 but was reprimanded and fined $3100 by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand in 2015 after failing to reply to correspondence.

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