Two Melbourne men at the centre of a Bali cocaine scandal have dodged Indonesia’s harsh drug penalties and will walk free in just months.
Despite facing a maximum penalty of 12 years imprisonment, Will Cabantog was sentenced today to just one year behind bars and with time already served, he will leave the notorious Kerobokan jail in just over half that time.
David Van Iersel was jailed for nine months and, given the time he has already spent locked up, will walk free as soon as April.
Both sentences were less than what prosecutors had suggested but not by much.
Cabantog, 36, could be seen praying and gesturing the sign of the cross right before learning his fate.
He then bowed his head into his hands, appearing relieved as judge Heriyanti revealed her panel’s decision.
The former Melbourne nightclub promoters, who had been living in Bali, were caught with just over one gram of cocaine during a Canggu nightclub sting in July.
Lawyers Gumilang Galih Sakti and Denny Sedana had argued throughout the trial that the men were addicts in need of help, and lucky for the pair the judges agreed, sentencing them as drug users instead of under the more serious charge of possession.
Judge Heriyanti declared the duo “victims of drug circulation,” as did prosecutors, saying they’d admitted their wrongs and shown remorse.
Cabantog received a slightly longer sentence because he’d “initiated using cocaine together with David”.
A set of scales and small plastic bags were also found in his scooter storage department.