18 Jan 2015

NZ man's lawyers plan novel defence

3:51 pm on 18 January 2015

Lawyers for a New Zealand man who could face the death penalty in Indonesia on drugs charges are planning to use a ground-breaking defence.

Antony de Malmanche, 52, was arrested at Bali's international airport on 1 December. Police say he was carrying 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine in his bag.

Antony de Malmanche

Antony de Malmanche Photo: Supplied

His trial is likely to start next month.

His lawyer Craig Tuck has formed a specialist team of human rights and legal experts and will argue that Mr de Malmanche is a victim of human trafficking by an international drugs ring, rather than a drug trafficker.

Mr de Malmanche claims he was unaware he was carrying the drugs and they were put in his bag through contact with a woman he met online.

Six death row inmates were put to death on Sunday as part of Indonesian President Joko Widodo's determination to stop drug crime.

Five of those shot by firing squad were foreigners - from Brazil, Malawi, the Netherlands, Nigeria and Vietnam.

Amnesty Internationals research director for south-east Asia and the Pacific, Rupert Abbott, said Mr Widodo's administration took office in October on the back of promises to make human rights a priority, but the executions flew in the face of that.

Indonesia has tough anti-drugs laws and Mr Widodo has voiced strong support for capital punishment despite his image as a reformist.

Twenty-six prisoners on death row are due to be executed this year.

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