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Seven months for hash smoking
By Sian Powell in Jakarta - August 03, 2005

AN Adelaide man facing 10 years' jail in Bali for cannabis possession could be freed within weeks after Indonesian prosecutors yesterday reduced the charge against him.

On the day before convicted drug smuggler and fellow Australian Schapelle Corby's re-opened trial starts in Denpasar District Court, prosecutors recommended John Pyle, 42, receive only a seven-month sentence for the lesser charge of smoking hashish.

Mr Pyle, an internet businessman who has been in police custody in Bali for almost three months, had been facing up to 10 years' jail for the crime of drug possession.

But the charge was reduced because of lack of evidence and prosecutors recommended that time served be deducted from any sentence imposed if Mr Pyle is found guilty by Bali's Gianyar District Court.

Wearing a white shirt and black pants, Mr Pyle looked relaxed and smiled as he listened to a translation of prosecutor Ida Ayu Surasmi's submission to the court.

Mr Pyle was arrested on May 8 when a police raid uncovered 1.8g of hashish in his rented home in Gianyar, just outside Bali's tourist town of Ubud.

In earlier testimony Mr Pyle denied that the drugs were his.

But he admitted smoking hashish and described himself as an addict who has used the drug since his days at university to relieve stress.

Meanwhile, two Qantas employees will testify today at Corby's reopened trial as the former Gold Coast beauty student seeks to overturn a 20-year jail term for drug smuggling.

Corby's Indonesian legal team said yesterday it was still at loggerheads with the Australian Government over what assistance Canberra was providing for her case. Corby's lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea, said he would not release the names of the Qantas check-in officer and a baggage handler until they appeared in Denpasar District Court today.

Additional reporting: AAP

John Pyle's Case Information

Bali prosecutors demand jail for SA man
August 2, 2005 - 2:54PM

Indonesian prosecutors have demanded a seven-month jail term for Adelaide man John Pyle for smoking hashish.

But they dropped a more serious charge of drug possession - which could have carried a maximum 10 years in prison - because of lack of evidence.

Pyle has been in Bali police custody for almost three months.

The prosecution recommended that this period be deducted from any sentence imposed if he is found guilty by Bali's Gianyar District Court.

Wearing white shirt and black pants, Pyle, 42, looked relaxed and smiled as he listened to a translation of prosecutor Ida Ayu Surasmi's submission in Bali.

Pyle, an internet businessman, was arrested on May 8 when a police raid uncovered 1.8 grams of hashish in his rented home in Gianyar, just outside Bali's mountain tourist town of Ubud.

In earlier testimony Pyle denied that the drugs were his.

But he admitted smoking hashish and described himself as an addict who has used the drug since his days at university to relieve stress.

"At this time, he's still addicted and he's under physician's treatment," Pyle's defence lawyer Mohammad Rifan said.

Rifan is to make his final submission to the court next Monday.

Pyle is a frequent visitor to Bali who has told the three-judge panel hearing his case that he is a member of the anti-drugs education committee of the Ubud Rotary Club.

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