Bali accused tells of drugs battle
FORMER accountant and political candidate Isaac Roberts, who is facing a drugs trial in Bali, has a message for anyone considering taking drugs to Bali or trying methamphetamines: don't do it.
Speaking after the first day of his trial in Denpasar District Court, where he faces charges which carry the maximum death penalty, Roberts told of his battle with addiction.
"It is very easy to just slip into the (drug) habit, unfortunately I did. Methamphetamine is, it is very bad and it is very easy to slip into the habit and if anybody is considering taking methamphetamine, do not … you will find it very difficult to stop," Roberts said.
The court heard that Roberts had used drugs every day for the past 17 years prior to his arrest. Since his arrest he has been in a private drug rehabilitation centre and says he has been clean for 10 weeks. He said he was happy the Indonesian authorities had given him the chance to rid himself of drugs.
"It is going well. I am 10 weeks clean and I am feeling good," he said.
Asked if he feared the death penalty was still on the table, Roberts said: "Given that I am in rehabilitation at the moment and I have the support of the authorities, I suspect that's not likely."
Roberts' court appearance comes a day after News Corp Australia photographed him on the weekend strolling along a Bali beach as part of his court-approved drug rehabilitation.
He has spent the past 12 days in a private drug rehabilitation centre in Sanur, in Bali's south-east rather than being locked up in Kerobokan jail.
While all the other prisoners arrived at court in the prison van from Kerobokan jail, Roberts was driven in a private car, with two prosecutors inside.
As he was led into court, Roberts said he had been clean from drugs for 10 weeks and felt good.
"I am clean 10 weeks and I am very happy about that," he said when asked how his rehabilitation was going.
"I am not taking any drugs which is a good thing." He said he was flustered and anxious about court.
Roberts faces three alternative charges under Indonesia's narcotics law and two alternate charges under psychotropic drug laws.
The narcotics charges are importing a class one narcotic, which carries the death penalty as its maximum sentence, possession, which carries a 20-year maximum or using narcotics for himself, which carries a four-year maximum or rehabilitation.
Because the charges are alternatives, he would be found guilty of only one.
Roberts was arrested on December 4, allegedly with 14.32 grams of methamphetamine and 6.22 grams of ecstasy (14 MDMA pills) and 25ml of Alprazolam, widely known as the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, in his luggage.
Xanax is a restricted substance in Indonesia.
In an indictment read to the court, Prosecutor Suhadi said it was alleged that Roberts had, since 2000, "continuously consumed class one narcotics in the form of methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy that contains MDMA and marijuana".
"The use of methamphetamine is every day consecutively for 17 years. The use of cocaine and ecstasy is two or three times per week consecutive for 14 years and marijuana use consecutive for 14 years," he said.
Prosecutor Suhadi said it was further alleged that Roberts had used Xanax as a sedative and to help him sleep.
He had suffered acute depression, had suicidal thoughts and suffered sexually transmitted diseases, according to medical records from a Sydney clinic.
"The defendant intended to use the narcotics, in the form of methamphetamine, ecstasy and psychotropic Aprazolam (Xanax) during his holiday in Bali at the Pullman Hotel where he intended to stay before going back to Australia," prosecutor Suhadi told the court.
Roberts was arrested at Bali international airport after arriving on a flight from Thailand.
It is alleged that he told police he bought the drugs from a friend called Pieter in Bangkok, paying 60,000 Baht for one ecstasy tablet and 2500 Baht per gram of methamphetamine which was for his personal use. He bought the Xanax for personal use from the same person.
Blood and urine tests on Roberts had tested positive to methamphetamine.
Mr Suhadi said it was alleged that after his arrival at Bali airport on December 4, Roberts was acting suspiciously and nervous.
When his bags were X-rayed, suspicious items were flagged and he was then searched and the drugs uncovered.
Roberts' lawyers on Monday opted not to object to any of the charges and not to deliver a rebuttal but to go straight to hearing witnesses.
Five police and Customs officials were due to testify late Monday.
Indonesia's harsh anti-drugs regime treats drug users and addicts more leniently than dealers and traffickers and Robert's lawyers say he is a long time addict.
On the day he was paraded for the media after his arrest Roberts said he was an addict and more recently he told reporters that he was happy to be finally free "from the prison of ice addiction".