The head of Indonesia’s Child Protection Commission says the Australian teenager being held on possible drug charges should be kept in Indonesia for rehabilitation.
Dr Asrorum Niam says a judge can order the 14-year-old into a drug rehabilitation program, instead of prison, but he says the teenager should be treated in Indonesia, not Australia.
He says Indonesian officials would have to monitor the treatment and would not know if the boy was complying with the court’s decision if he was allowed to return home.
The head of Bali’s drug squad, Superintendent Mulyadi, says the boy, arrested last week allegedly with a small amount of marijuana, is in good health.
He confirmed the 14-year-old will be moved to another location once prosecutors receive the summary of evidence against him.
“We are waiting for the request and then we will find a suitable custody for [the] minor,” he said.
“He’s still here for a while for sure until the P21 process is complete,” he added, referring to the summary of evidence documents which police are in the process of compiling.
It could still be weeks before the summary of evidence is presented to prosecutors, but the boy’s lawyer has previously said he is hopeful it will be presented by the end of the week.
Police have completed their investigation but cannot present their evidence until they receive a crucial report from welfare officers from the Indonesian corrections department who interviewed the boy last Friday.
Superintendent Mulyadi says he expects the boy to be held at Bali police’s narcotics division until that happens.
He earlier told the ABC the boy will be dealt with under the law applying to minors who need treatment for a drug problem.
Under article 128 of Indonesian narcotics laws, those caught with a small amount of the drug are able to be released if they are defined as a frequent user.
The boy would still face court, but his parents would have to ensure he completed his rehabilitation. If they failed to report regularly, they could be jailed instead for up to six months.
But the case to have him released for rehabilitation instead of being sent to jail still needs to be proved in court.
Meanwhile, an Opposition frontbencher has accused the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of playing politics with the case of the boy arrested in Bali.
Julia Gillard spoke to the boy over the phone this week, while Kevin Rudd has been giving regular updates to the media about the case.
Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb says their handling of the matter is offensive to the Indonesians.
“The use by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of a 14-year-old boy as a political play thing in their contest for the leadership, it’s a disgrace,” he said.
But Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia defended the Government’s high level of interest in the case.
“The boy’s family have made very clear to me that they very much appreciate the support of the Australian Government including the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister,” Greg Moriarty said.
He says he has seen no sign of a backlash from the senior Indonesian officials he has been dealing with.