November 26, 2011 by staff 

AUSTRALIAN BOY, 14, JAILED IN BALI, An Indonesian court on Friday sentenced a 14-year-old Australian boy to two months in jail on the resort island of Bali for possession of marijuana.

The boy, who wore a colourful Balinese shirt and a balaclava to hide his identity, will be freed on December 4 after the court ruled the nearly eight weeks he has already spent in jail should be counted against the sentence.

The teenager bowed his head as judge Amser Simanjuntak pronounced sentence at Denpasar district court.

He was arrested with 6.9 grammes (quarter of an ounce) of marijuana on October 4 in the tourist area of Kuta, where he was on holiday with his parents, and charged with possession.

As a minor, the boy could have been jailed for up to two years but prosecutors only sought a three-month term, considering his youth and the likelihood he would change his behaviour.

He also avoided a lengthier sentence by agreeing to undergo drug rehabilitation. He had admitted to having the drugs.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd thanked Indonesian authorities for their speedy handling of the case.

“This has been obviously a traumatic time for him and his family. I’m sure there are lessons to be learned by this young man as well,” Rudd said.

“We’d like very much to thank the Indonesian authorities for their assistance in the conduct of this case, for the speedy way in which it’s been handled against all Indonesian norms,” he added.

“I think it’s good that this family and this young man, it looks like, will be home for Christmas.”

The judge said the boy had conducted himself well throughout the trial.

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