16 Jan 2009

Australian pilot gets three-year jail term for illegally landing in Papua

4:03 pm on 16 January 2009

The Australian pilot of a small plane that illegally landed in Indonesia's Papua province last September has been sentenced to three years in prison.

William Scott-Bloxam has also been fined 4,000 US dollars for landing the chartered plane, which left from Queensland with four Australian passengers and landed in Papua without having proper visa documentation.

The passengers, all aged between 50 and 60, were given two-year sentences and fined 2,000 US dollars by the Merauke District Court.

The Australians have said they had flown to Papua for sightseeing and assumed they could get visas on arrival.

The group's lawyer said they would appeal the sentences.