German jailed for 15 years for Bali drug-smuggling

DENPASAR (AFP) - A German man was Wednesday jailed for 15 years for trying to smuggle cocaine into Bali, the latest example of Indonesian authorities' hard line against the narcotics trade as they gear up to execute several foreign drug offenders.

Peter Hans Naumann, 48, was arrested by customs officials at the resort island's airport in September after they noticed him acting suspiciously following his arrival on a flight from Bangkok.

An initial search turned up no drugs, but further examinations in hospital found that he had 11 capsules of cocaine in his stomach weighing 239g.

He confessed during his trial that he had been promised US$5,000 (S$6,938) to deliver the drugs.

Presiding judge Putu Gde Hariyadi told a court in the Balinese capital Denpasar that Naumann had been "proven legally and convincingly guilty of importing narcotics".

The judge said mitigating factors included that "the defendant regretted his action, was polite during the trial and had not been involved in a crime before".

He handed him a 15-year jail term, and ordered him to pay a fine of one billion rupiah (S$105,151) or spend an additional three months in jail.

However, judges decided not hand him the toughest penalty in Indonesia for drug trafficking, the death sentence.

Jakarta imposes some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world, and is currently making preparations to execute several foreigners on death row for narcotics offences, including nationals from Australia, France and Brazil.

President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, has taken a hard line against the drugs trade, claiming that Indonesia is facing an "emergency" due to rising narcotics use, and vowing to show no clemency for traffickers on death row.

Foreigners are regularly caught with drugs on hard-partying Bali.