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Bali judge gives Aust man rehab, not jail

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April 11, 2018

Australian man Isaac Roberts has been sentenced to rehab for drug offences in Bali.

An Australian accountant has been sentenced to 15 months of rehabilitation for drug offences on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali.

The court in Denpasar on Wednesday said Isaac Emmanuel Roberts' sentence, which includes time already served in prison, will be carried out at the Anargya Foundation, which specialises in drug and alcohol rehabilitation therapy.

The 35-year-old was arrested at the island's Ngurah Rai airport on Dec. 4 after arriving from Bangkok with 14.3 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 14 ecstasy tablets.

Indonesia has very strict drug laws and convicted traffickers can be executed by firing squad.

"I'm thankful to the government for giving the opportunity to recover from the illness. I'm depressed," Roberts told reporters after the sentencing.

Presiding Judge Gusti Ngurah Putra Atmaja said the panel of judges lightened Roberts' possible sentence because he regretted his acts, promised to reform and was proven not to be a dealer or trafficker.

During the trial, the court was told that Roberts used meth and other drugs to counter severe depression.

"The defendant needs medical rehabilitation due to his dependence on those drugs," Atmaja said.

More than 150 people are on death row in Indonesia, mostly for drug crimes, and about a third of them are foreigners.

Eighteen people convicted of drug-related offences have been executed under current President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who took office in October 2014.

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