By CINDY WOCKNER in Bali - April 26, 2005
A NIGERIAN-born man was yesterday sentenced in Bali to life in jail for bringing 1.1kg of heroin to the tourist island.
The 40-year-old escaped the death sentence because he was found guilty of supply and not of importing or exporting the drug.
Schapelle Corby is charged with importing 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali and Indonesian law does not differentiate between heroin and marijuana when it comes to sentence.
Linton Sirait, chief of the three-judge bench that yesterday sentenced Martin Christopher Akujobi, of Johannesburg, South Africa, is also chief of the bench hearing Corby's case.
Judge Sirait and judges at the Denpasar District Court will deliver their verdict in Corby's case next month and will also hear the trials of the nine Australians arrested in Bali over heroin.
It is understood the main reason Akujobi received a life sentence and not death was because he was not found guilty of exporting the drug.
Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty.
A Botswanian-born man, who was due to be sentenced for the same heroin
haul and who was charged with having 906g of the drug in his luggage,
had his verdict postponed until Friday.
Brought into court with a handkerchief over his face, John Gariel, 37, of
Cape Town, sat sobbing before his case was postponed. He was expected to be sentenced to life in jail.
In sentencing Akujobi, the judges said the factors that had weighed in his favour included the fact he was still young and had an opportunity to reform himself, that he had no criminal record and he had been well-behaved and polite during the trial.