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Jakarta Post

Bali court postpones verdict on Australian child abuse suspect

  • Desy Nurhayati

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar, Bali   /   Tue, October 18, 2016   /  09:49 pm
Bali court postpones verdict on Australian child abuse suspect Suspect – Denpasar Prosecutors’ Office staff escort Australian national Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis to the Denpasar District Court building to attend a hearing on Tuesday. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

The verdict hearing in a child abuse case involving an Australian defendant in Bali has been postponed by one week.

Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis, who has been charged with sexually abusing girls aged between eight and 17 years in Bali, insisted that he was innocent and should be acquitted.

“I haven’t done anything serious to be imprisoned. I have no sexual relation with any of those girls,” he told reporters while he waited for his trial to begin at the Denpasar District Court on Tuesday.

The court had been scheduled to hand down its verdict in the case on Tuesday, but the trial was adjourned until next Tuesday.

In the previous session, prosecutors had demanded the court’s panel of judges sentence Ellis to 16 years in prison. “It’s excessive injustice,” Ellis said about the indictment.

The defendant stands accused to have paid children in return for sexual abuse he had committed. Commenting on the allegations, Ellis said, “I’ve completely settled with the girls. I gave them generously [without requiring them to give anything to me in return].”

Bali Police arrested Ellis in his house in Tabanan regency in January based on information provided by child protection organization Lentera Anak Bali Foundation.

He is suspected to have sexually abused at least 11 children in 2014 and 2015. He reportedly lured his victims with money and gifts.

Police conducted a joint investigation with the foundation, the Denpasar administration's Integrated Service Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children (P2TP2A) and Bali-Terre des Hommes Netherlands, starting in December last year, which ended with Ellis’ arrest. (ebf)

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