Prosecutors want at least 15 years for US couple in Bali suitcase murder

DENPASAR (Reuters) - Prosecutors in the case of a US couple accused of murder on Bali on Tuesday called for the pair to be sentenced to at least 15 years in prison.

Chicago-area residents Tommy Schaefer and Heather Mack are being tried separately over the premeditated murder of Mack's mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, whose battered body was found stuffed into a suitcase in August of last year.

Prosecutors called for Schaefer, charged with premeditated murder, to be imprisoned for 18 years, and Mack for 15 years, a lighter term because she faces a charge of accessory to murder and recently gave birth.

"According to the prosecution, the defendant Tommy Schaefer is proven to have committed (premeditated murder)," prosecutor Oka Ariani Adikarini told the Denpasar District Court.

The harshest penalty for premeditated murder in Indonesia is death.

Schaefer this month confessed in court to killing Weise-Mack in self-defence, saying the victim attacked him in anger because she objected to the couple's relationship.

Bali police conducted a four-month investigation into the killing, which took place last August. Their efforts included a re-enactment with the defendants at the luxury hotel where Wiese-Mack's body was found.

Other evidence submitted to prosecutors included CCTV footage showing the couple speaking to a taxi driver after dropping the bloodied suitcase along with other luggage outside the hotel.

The accused pair will appear in court on April 7 when their legal teams will respond to the prosecution's statements.