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Another Aussie faces jail over drugs
By Cindy Wockner and Komang Suriadi in Indonesia - September 22, 2005

A QUEENSLAND man is the latest Australian to be jailed in Indonesia on drug charges after he was arrested in possession of methamphetamines.

Police in Sangatta, East Kalimantan, yesterday confirmed John Michael Kelly, 45, was arrested with of 0.5g of "shabu-shabu" (methamphetamine) which he allegedly bought for about $140.

Mr Kelly faces drug laws that carry a maximum five-year jail term for owning, keeping or smuggling drugs.

Captain Anjas Gautama Putra said Mr Kelly and an Indonesian prostitute, 24, were caught allegedly in possession of about 0.5g of the drug, along with paraphernalia such as a waterpipe (bong), a cigarette lighter and a candle.

Mr Kelly, from Warwick, was arrested late on Saturday night at a hotel in Sangatta where police allege he and the woman were using the drug.

Captain Putra said Mr Kelly's blood and urine tested positive to amphetamine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Mr Kelly is understood to have worked as a relief superintendent at Thiess Indonesia in East Kalimantan and was living in Sangatta. It is understood he had worked for Thiess for three years.

Capt Putra said it would be alleged Mr Kelly bought the drug on September 14 for 1 million rupiah and a bong that cost about 50,000 rupiah ($7) from a stranger at a hotel in Balikpapan.

He said on September 17 Mr Kelly went to a bar where he met the woman and they went to the hotel where they were found allegedly using the drug.

Capt Putra said the pair were arrested after security people conducting a routine check of the hotel discovered a room door ajar. Seeing the pair, security then called police who arrested them.

He said the woman's occupation was listed as prostitute.

Capt Putra said Mr Kelly was yet to be formally interrogated in the presence of a lawyer.

A spokeswoman at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta confirmed a Queensland man was arrested on narcotics-related charges and officials from the embassy were providing consular assistance.

Mr Kelly joins 12 Australians in jails across the archipelago facing Indonesia's tough anti-drugs laws, including model Michelle Leslie, the accused Bali heroin mules and Schapelle Corby, all jailed in Bali. Adelaide teacher Graham Payne was arrested last month in Sumatra.

Leslie, 24, was arrested in Bali last month, allegedly in possession of two ecstasy tablets.

Prosecutors said yesterday her case file was incomplete and would shortly be handed back to police for further work before she was formally charged and taken to court.

Brisbane man faces Indonesian drug charges
Police in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan say they are considering drug possession charges against a 45-year-old Australian man arrested there last week.

The man has been named as John Michael Kelly, originally from Queensland.

He is an employee of the construction company Thiess.

Mr Kelly was arrested at a hotel in the town of Sangatta on Saturday.

A woman police have described as his girlfriend was also there.

A spokesman for East Kalimantan police has told the ABC that officers confiscated a smoking tube, a package of methamphetamine, a lighter and a candle.

They have sent a urine sample and other material evidence for testing.

If found guilty, Mr Kelly could face a prison sentence of up to five years under Indonesian law.

Thiess spokesman Chris Peat says Mr Kelly is receiving help from the firm and Australian embassy officials.

"It is subject to investigation by the Indonesian authorities at the moment and he is receiving assistance from the Australian embassy in terms of consular assistance," he said.

"We are also, where we can, assisting with his personal needs.

"Obviously, he is being very cooperative with the authorities there."

Mr Peat also says there is a strict drug and alcohol policy for its employees.

"John Kelly is an employee of Thiess in Indonesia," he said.

"He was arrested off site and outside of working hours and we see this as a personal issue." Print-friendy versionPrint Send to a friendEmail

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