25 Mar 2009

Australians trapped in Papua there for a while

9:19 am on 25 March 2009

Five Australians trapped in Papua for more than half a year due to court charges of illegal entry to Indonesia will now be there for several more months.

This comes after Indonesian prosecutors lodged their objections to a High Court appeal freeing the quintet.

North Queensland Pilot William Scott-Bloxam was judged on appeal in the Jayapura High Court this month to have been obeying air traffic control when he put his twin-engined light aircraft down at the tiny Merauke airport in September.

That court overturned a lower court's three-year sentence, and the two-year sentences given to each of his four passengers.

However, prosecutors believe this was an incorrect reading of the law.

They argue that the Australians should not have been in Indonesian airspace without approval to begin with.

The group remains in the Papua town of Merauke where they originally landed last year.