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drugs found on sailboat

Mr Haritos was sailing around West Timor in late July when his catamaran broke down

twice near the Sabu Islands before drifting to Sumba, almost 80 kilometres to the east.

While awaiting rescue with his one remaining crew member, Mr Haritos began to suffer severe back pain from a long-standing injury and "collapsed", said his lawyer Sienny Karmana.

A local fisherman raised the alarm when he spotted the drifting boat several days later, and Indonesian police took Mr Haritos to hospital.

Three days later they requested the hospital perform a urine drug test on Mr Haritos, which detected the presence of methamphetamines.

Police then searched his boat, and allegedly found 0.06 grams of methamphetamines, some of which was near his bed while the rest was underneath it.

 

injured on sailboat

 

Ms Karmana said Mr Haritos had bought the drugs in Bali over a year ago, stored them in his cabin, and then used them to "self-medicate" for his injury.

"When he fell down in the boat he wanted to reduce the pain and then he used [the drugs] again," said Ms Karmana.

Indonesian police documents allege Mr Haritos "committed a crime of owning, keeping and possessing class 1 narcotics".

He faces a possible 12-year prison term under Indonesia's tough drugs laws.

The police documents also list Mr Haritos as the owner of the Dili International School in Timor-Leste.

After his rescue, he was evacuated to the island of Sumba, where his lawyer said he signed a document acknowledging his arrest and that he would face prosecution when a doctor certified that his health had improved.

"The police understand he needs treatment, so that's why the police have given the letter to bring him to hospital until he can face the case," said Ms Karmana.

 



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She said Mr Haritos's family privately chartered a plane to transfer him to a Bali hospital for better treatment.

"The injury is quite bad," Ms Karmana said.

He is awaiting MRI test results for his possible spinal injury.

It is not yet known if he will be taken into custody in Bali to face court or whether he will be flown back to Sumba, Ms Karmana said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is providing consular assistance.

 

Anthony Haritos

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