UK woman jailed 6 months for slapping Bali airport officer

A viral video of the episode showed Auj-e Taqaddas launch into an expletive-laden rant when she was told she would have to pay a US$4,000 (S$5,414.40) fine for overstaying her visa by several months.
A viral video of the episode showed Auj-e Taqaddas launch into an expletive-laden rant when she was told she would have to pay a US$4,000 (S$5,414.40) fine for overstaying her visa by several months.PHOTO: AFP

DENPASAR (Bali) • An Indonesian court yesterday jailed a British woman for six months for slapping an immigration officer in the face on the island of Bali after an argument over a fine for staying in the country after her visa expired.

Auj-e Taqaddas, 42, was found guilty by a court in Denpasar of violence against an officer at Bali's airport carrying out his legal duty, Judge Esthar Oktavi told Reuters.

"The sentence is six months in prison," Judge Oktavi said by text message. The sentence was lighter than the one-year jail term sought by the prosecutor over the incident on July 28 last year.

"This is an unfair decision... I was forcibly brought to the court, no lawyers provided," Taqaddas told the court, accusing the prosecutors of torturing her three times and trapping her in the country.

The judge and prosecutor said Taqaddas had filed an appeal.

Her sentencing had been postponed several times because she was sick and also when the authorities could not find her in her hotel when they tried to pick her up for the hearing.

A smartphone video of the purported incident, which went viral at the time, showed Taqaddas shouting and swearing at the immigration officer, before slapping him across the face after grappling with him to snatch back her passport.

The woman had overstayed by about 160 days and was asked to pay a fine of 300,000 rupiah (S$29) for each day, or about S$4,600 in all.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2019, with the headline 'UK woman jailed 6 months for slapping Bali airport officer'. Print Edition | Subscribe