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Australian on trial in Borneo over drugs
Tuesday November 15 2005

An Australian mine worker arrested in Indonesia for allegedly using methamphetamine will find out in a fortnight whether Indonesian prosecutors will demand he spend the next five years in jail.

John Michael Kelly, 45, from Warwick on Queensland's Darling Downs, was arrested in September in Sangatta, East Kalimantan on Borneo, after a tip-off by hotel security guards.

He faces a maximum five-year jail term after police allegedly found him smoking crystal meth, known in Indonesia as shabu shabu, in his hotel room.

In his trial opener on Monday in the Sangatta District Court a panel of three judges heard from police, security officers and a local woman named Erna, who was in the room with Kelly.

The trial was adjourned until November 28.

"We will now wait for two weeks for the sentence request," prosecutor Waluyo Heryawan told AAP without revealing what penalty he would ask for.

Court clerk Gunarso said Kelly spoke occasional Indonesian during the hearing, even though he had a translator on hand.

There was no one present from the Australian embassy, although there several local onlookers.

"He looked comfortable and the trial went smoothly," Gunarso said.

He said Kelly was facing only one charge using article 62 of Indonesia's psychotropic drug laws, which carried a maximum five-year sentence and 100,000 rupiah ($A13,700) fine.

The chief detective of local police, Captain Anjas Gautama Putra, told AAP police seized 0.5g of crystal methamphetamine after raiding Kelly's room at the Hotel Amar.

Officers were called by hotel security guards, who allege they saw the Thiess Indonesia mine employee smoking the drug through a pipe with a local prostitute, he said.

He said security staff had noticed the pair because they left their hotel door ajar and they glanced inside during a routine check.

Kelly is one of 13 Australians facing Indonesian drug laws, including the Bali Nine, model Michelle Leslie, convicted Queensland drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and former Adelaide school teacher Graham Clifford Payne.

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