1 Jul 2015

De Malmanche family devastated by sentence

9:00 am on 1 July 2015

The family of the New Zealander Antony de Malmanche is devastated by the 15-year prison sentence he has been given for smuggling drugs into Bali.

Antony de Malmanche

Antony de Malmanche being escorted by customs security in Bali. Photo: AFP

De Malmanche has said he did not know almost 2 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was in his backpack when he flew to Bali from Hong Kong on 1 December last year.

The Whanganui 53-year-old's defence had been he thought he would be meeting in person a woman he had met online, whose brother in Hong Kong had encouraged him to take a bag to her.

De Malmanche family spokesman James Bellamy, who is in Bali, said although the family hoped for acquittal, a guilty verdict and prison sentence was always more likely.

"He's in shock, his health is not great at the moment, he suffers from angina, so he's very worried and very anxious that he won't last."

Mr Bellamy said if de Malmanche had been charged in New Zealand, he doubted a trial would have gone ahead.

He said key evidence was lacking and police processes in Bali were sloppy.

"The prosecution that's already on public record failed to prove that the drugs found in Antony's bag were his, there were no fingerprints, at the time of interrogation he was assaulted, he was fast assigned documents that were in Bahasa Indonesian which he didn't understand, there was no interpreter present."

Mr Bellamy said with good behaviour de Malmanche could be out in ten years, though he feared he will die in jail.

De Malmanche's lawyer, Craig Tuck said his client had hoped he would be going home to Whanganui, and that there would be an appeal.

MrTuck said there were numerous procedural problems involving the judge and prosecutors, while no one established that de Malmanche intended to smuggle the drugs into Bali.

"There's just so many different points. The system is quite different to what we have in New Zealand but having said that the rule of law applies and they have a criminal procedure code that just wasn't followed from day one."

"And we will be pursuing those points."

The judges could have imposed a maximum sentence of death, and will have that option again in any appeal hearing.

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