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Jakarta Post

Denpasar court sentences Brit to 6 months in jail for assaulting immigration officer

  • Ni Komang Erviani

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar   /   Wed, February 6, 2019   /   07:36 pm
Denpasar court sentences Brit to 6 months in jail for assaulting immigration officer Passengers check their flight schedule at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, on June 29. (JP/Ni Komang Erviani)

The Denpasar District Court on Wednesday sentenced a British woman, Auj E. Taqaddas, 43, to six months in jail after finding her guilty of assaulting an immigration officer at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

The assault happened in July, while the trial started in early December. The judges were to have read out their verdict and the sentence at the end of it on Jan. 21, but the defendant failed to show up, causing the session to be postponed. That happened two more times, until prosecutors had Taqaddas arrested at Lippo Mall Kuta on Wednesday and taken to court to attend the final session of her trial and hear the ruling.

"[The court] found the defendant Auj E. Taqaddas guilty of violence against a [government] official as per Article 212 of the Criminal Code. Hence, [the court] sentenced the defendant to six months’ imprisonment," presiding judge Esthar Oktavi said.

Taqaddas responded emotionally to the verdict, claiming it was unfair and saying she would appeal.

After the trial, prosecutors transferred Taqaddas to the Immigration Office for her to go through a legal process related to an alleged violation of the immigration law.

"We handed over her to the Immigration Office as she has to undergo [another] legal process for her overstay. Immigration put her in the immigration detention center," said intelligence section head of Badung Prosecutor Office, Waher Tarihoran.

Taqaddas was charged and tried for slapping an immigration officer last year at the Bali airport after being prevented from boarding a plane.

She had been about to leave Indonesia for Singapore on a Jetstar flight when an immigration officer discovered she had overstayed by more than 60 days. The Immigration Office reported that Taqaddas entered Bali on Jan. 19, 2018 with a visa on arrival that was valid for a maximum of 30 days.

The footage of Taqaddas' violent act, taken on July 28 last year, went viral and made headlines in local and foreign media. (swd)