Barbara Kathleen Higgs hides her face with a piece of paper
as she appears for her trial at a court on Lombok in May.
An Australian woman on trial in Indonesia for drug offences
begged for mercy on Thursday, telling judges she had contracted
typhoid, kidney problems and a skin disease in her Lombok island
Barbara Kathleen Higgs, 43, was arrested in February.
She is charged with possession 50 grams of marijuana and a
smoking pipe after police acting on a tip-off searched the Bulan
Baru (New Moon) hotel she owned with her New Zealand husband at the
beach resort of Senggigi.
Police said urine test proved positive and Higgs had admitted
buying the drugs from a local dealer two days before.
Prosecutors have sought one year's imprisonment under tough
Indonesian drug laws.
Higgs, originally from Pinjarra, Western Australia, appeared in
court with her face covered with a gold embroidered veil and
Her lawyer Ainuddin said the unsanitary jail conditions at
Lombok's women's prison had forced Higgs to seek medical treatment
"The food is disconcerting and the water is dirty, causing the
defendant to get typhoid, a kidney infection and a skin disease,
and to be treated several times in hospital," he said.
Higgs told the court she was "healthy enough" to follow her
trial, although a bandaid on the back of her hand covered needle
marks from her hospital treatment.
"Looking at this situation, we as the lawyers beg the judges for
compassion and pity towards the defendant, merely on the mere
reason of humanity," Ainuddin said.
Several previous trial appearances had been cancelled due to
Ainuddin said Higgs had never served time in prison before and
respected Lombok culture, having written about the island several
times for travel magazines.
"She did that without charging and that shows that she loves
Lombok," Ainuddin said.
She had also spent time in jail teaching English to other
inmates and prison warders.
"It only shows that she cares," the lawyer said.
Higgs has previously told the court she had intended to throw
the drugs away on the advice of a girlfriend, but police caught
She also said she would not be punished for such a small amount
of drugs in Australia.
Prosecutor Raharjo Yusuf Wibisono last week asked for a one-year
jail term for Higgs, instead of the maximum penalty of death
because she had been co-operative.
"She admitted what she had done and promised not to repeat it
again," he said.
"She also helped her community, providing jobs and clean
Higgs's verdict is expected on July 27.