6 Mar 2009

Convictions for five Australians who flew into Indonesia's Papua without papers are overturned

4:17 pm on 6 March 2009

Five Australians who have been released from jail in Merauke and had their convictions for illegal entry to Papua overturned by the Indonesian court are reported to be in good health.

In January, the Merauke District Court jailed Torres Strait pilot William Scott-Bloxam for three years and four passengers, including his wife, two years each for flying their chartered plane into Indonesian airspace without visas last September.

A spokesperson for the group, Mohammad Rifan said the High Court decision upheld the defence argument that the air traffic controller and immigration officers failed in their duties by allowing the plane to land when their request for landing approval should have been denied.

Mr Rifan expects the five expected to be able to travel back to Australia in their plane which had been impounded.

"This morning we got confirmation from five of our clients. They have a good condition, healthy and the pilot - William Henry Scott-Bloxham - he's going to Mopak airport to do some maintenance of the airplane in the Mopak airport."

Mohammad Rifan from the Austrindo Law Office