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Indonesia....Sounds very much like the Philippines.

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Jakarta: A shock decision to reinstate a prison term for teachers acquitted of sodomy charges at an elite international school in Jakarta has been slammed by the Canadian government, which has warned its relationship with Indonesia is at stake.


The brother of one of the teachers – Canadian Neil Bantleman – told Fairfax Media he was "completely stunned" by the decision and a request for a judicial review would be immediately filed.

"Neil was outside of Jakarta when the ruling was made but is returning with the aid of Canadian officials," Guy Bantleman said via email.


Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said the Canadian government was "deeply dismayed and shocked" by the Supreme Court decision given the many "grave irregularities" in the case.


"Despite Canada's repeated calls for due process, this case was not handled in a fair and transparent manner.


"The outcome of this case has serious implications for Indonesia's reputation as a safe place for Canadians to work, travel and invest as well as for its long history of cooperation with Indonesia."


US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake had earlier issued a statement – remarkable in its forthright condemnation when diplomats are normally so cautious – that said the US was "shocked and disappointed".


"In August 2015, the Indonesian High Court found that there was not sufficient evidence to support the teachers' conviction," he said.


"It is not clear what evidence the Supreme Court used to overturn the High Court's decision. The outcome of the legal process will impact international views about the rule of law in Indonesia."

The twists and turns in the case have attracted intense international scrutiny because the Jakarta Intercultural School, formerly known as the Jakarta International School, is attended by the children of diplomats and expats – including a large number of Australians – and wealthy Indonesians.

The high-fee school, now Indonesia's largest international school, used to be called the Joint Embassy School, after its Australian, British, American and (then) Yugoslavian embassy partners.

The allegations of sexual abuse at the school first emerged in 2014 when six cleaners at the school were arrested for raping the same children.


One of the cleaners died in custody – police say he committed suicide.


The others, who said they were tortured by police into confessing, were sentenced to up to eight years prison in December 2014.


Mr Bantleman and Mr Tjiong were arrested in July 2014. Their initial Jakarta District Court case, which gripped the expat community, was filled with bizarre allegations and testimonies.


A prosecution witness, "sexologist" Dr Naek L Tobing gave evidence to the Jakarta District Court last year that Mr Bantleman only had sex with his wife once a week, when the "norm" was every day or two to three times a week.


As he also did not masturbate he would be seeking sexual outlets, Tobing claimed.

"There is a question how could he release his sexual desire," Chief Judge Nur Aslam Bustaman said in the Jakarta District Court last year.

"These conditions could create abnormal sexual behaviour."


It was alleged that Mr Bantleman sexually abused the boys in a room on the second floor of the administration building, and a nearby kitchen.


Mr Bantleman was said to have inserted a 'magic stone' into the anus of one of the boys to anaesthetise him before he was raped.


Due to the effect of the magic stone, the child said he felt numb from his bottom to the back of his thighs but still had the sensation of something being inserted into his anus.

The parents of one of the children said to have been sodomised separately sued the school for $US125 million ($173 million), compounding speculation that the rape charges were about money.

The case was rejected on a technicality, although the judges noted the parents had not proved the rape took place.


Chandra Saptaji, from the South Jakarta prosecutor's office said Mr Bantleman had been travelling in Bali when the Supreme Court made its decision.


"We did not arrest him. He voluntarily surrendered himself to the prosecutor and he was accompanied by the representative of the Canadian embassy," Mr Chandra said


Mr Bantleman flew back to Jakarta overnight and is now in Cipinang prison in Jakarta.


Jakarta Intercultural School director Sinta Sirait said Mr Bantleman and Mr Tjiong had not run away and were now in custody to follow the next legal process to fight for truth and justice.

"They are honorable men who are innocent of these baseless allegations," she said in a statement.


"Neil and Ferdi are respected teachers. Their dedication to their students and to the Indonesian community is undeniable. It really breaks our heart us to see such remarkable and exemplary individuals be accused and treated unjustly." 


Ms Sinta said the verdict was not only unfair but endangered the teaching profession.


"Anyone can be convicted according to an unsubstantiated accusation that is based only on unreliable stories," she said.

Ms Sinta said the school hoped the men could stand tall through this very difficult time. "Our hearts and our support will always be with them."



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"Anyone can be convicted according to an unsubstantiated accusation that is based only on unreliable stories,"


Sounds familiar.

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And he went back? What a bad lawyer.

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