By Sian Powell and Tom Richardson - May 10, 2005
ANOTHER Australian has been arrested with drugs in Bali,
following in the footsteps of the Bali Nine and Schapelle
Corby and prompting denials from Balinese police that Australians have been targeted.
John Julian Pyle, a 42-year-old South Australian, was arrested in his
bungalow in the expatriates' enclave of Sayan, near Ubud, north of Bali's capital, Denpasar.
Police raided Mr Pyle's home before dawn on Sunday morning, and allegedly found 1.8g of hashish kept in a plastic bag, a small bottle and a condom box.
Police say the web designer has admitted his guilt and faces up to 10 years in prison, and a fine of 500,000,000 rupiah ($68,122).
Mr Pyle told The Australian last night he "was a little bit surprised about the whole thing but other than that I am okay".
His Adelaide-based mother Cynthia Pyle said her son had moved to Bali because the cost of living was much cheaper and she had been "horrified" to learn of his arrest.
"Hi ... are you in jail?," Mrs Pyle asked her son during a short phone call. "I didn't think he'd do anything stupid like that, especially after everything that has happened in Bali," she said afterwards.
Mr Pyle has lived in Bali for the past 2 1/2 years while his estranged wife and their child live in Australia.
Wearing a lime-green batik shirt and jeans, Mr Pyle yesterday engaged lawyer MH Rifan, who represents five of the nine Australians arrested in Bali last month.
Marijuana and hashish are considered schedule-one drugs in Indonesia, along with heroin, and possession is considered a serious crime.
Two officials from the Australian consulate-general in Bali arrived at the police station to offer assistance.
Ketut Wartana, the chief narcotics investigator in Gianyar, said Mr Pyle's arrest, just three weeks after the high-profile capture of the Bali Nine, was a coincidence. "There's no intention to consider Australians suspicious," he said.
In Sydney yesterday, Khanh Thanh Ly, who police say is linked to the Bali Nine, was released on $100,000 bail after the commonwealth prosecutor refused to oppose his application.
Mr Ly, 24, appeared before Magistrate Ross Pogson charged with conspiracy to import heroin into Australia between August 2004 and April this year, with Mr Pogson questioning why the DPP's Michael Poberenzy was prepared to let Ly back on the streets. Ly was one of four people arrested on Friday in Sydney and Brisbane.
"There is a presumption against bail and what seems to me to be a pretty strong case," Mr Pogson said in Sydney's Central Local Court.
"Can you give me a good reason (why bail is not being opposed)?"
"There are sound reasons that I am not at liberty to disclose," Mr Poberenzy replied