Indonesia prosecutors want Briton, Australian jailed for 8 years over cop death in Bali

Australian Sara Connor (left) and Briton David Taylor at the Denpasar District Court in Bali on Feb 14, 2017.
Australian Sara Connor (left) and Briton David Taylor at the Denpasar District Court in Bali on Feb 14, 2017. PHOTOS: EPA

DENPASAR (AFP) – An Australian woman and her British boyfriend accused of beating to death a policeman on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali are facing a jail term of eight years each in line with prosecutor requests on Tuesday (Feb 21).  

Sara Connor, 46, and David Taylor, 34, are on trial for allegedly killing officer Wayan Sudarsa whose battered body was found on a popular beach in August.  

The pair were charged with murder over the policeman’s death, which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years, but at Tuesday’s hearing prosecutors said the accused did not intend to kill Sudarsa.  

Prosecutor Agung Jayalantara told the court in the Balinese capital Denpasar they should be convicted of a lesser charge they are also facing – group assault causing death – and jailed for eight years each.  

Jayalantara said that Taylor had shown remorse although he criticised Connor for being uncooperative. The pair appeared at separate hearings Tuesday.  

Judges can impose a greater or lesser sentence than that requested by prosecutors but they often follow the recommendation.

Connor’s lawyer Erwin Siregar labelled the sentence request “incredible”.  “It does not make sense, if you see what kind of role David played,” he said.  

Taylor’s lawyer Haposan Sihombing added that “eight years is too much”.  Taylor has admitted hitting the policeman with a pair of binoculars and a beer bottle during a late-night fight on the beach but insists he was acting in self defence as Sudarsa tried to choke him.  

The fight started after the Briton accused Sudarsa of stealing Connor’s handbag.  Connor has insisted she is innocent and had simply tried to pull the men apart as they fought.  They fled the scene, but were later tracked down after witnesses reported the incident to police.  

Bali, a pocket of Hinduism in Muslim-majority Indonesia, is a popular tourist destination known for its tropical climate and palm-fringed beaches.  Minor crime is common but murders are rare.