The trial of Hanna Liakhava, a Belarusian woman who was caught with 0.10 grams of marijuana in her suitcase at Bali’s Ngurah Rai in October, kicked off yesterday. The 25-year old was arrested on Sunday, Oct, 14 of last year after her anxious behavior while filling out a customs declaration form aroused suspicion, according to a report by detik.com.
Customs officers directed Liakhava to the examination room together with her suitcase, in which they discovered a small bag of leaves, allegedly marijuana, stored in two small plastic tubes.
“After a forensic laboratory examination of the evidence it was concluded that the brownish green leaf pieces contained marijuana preparations,” explained Public Prosecutor I Gde Raka Arimbawa when reading the indictment at the Denpasar District Court on Monday.
Blood and urine tests, carried out on the suspect at the time, showed positive results for Delta Tetrahydrocanabinol (THC), a metabolite from marijuana. According to a report in Bali Post, Liakhava had smoked marijuana since she was 14, and had bought this particular batch while on vacation in Spain in September 2017.
After Spain, she traveled to Shanghai, apparently problem-free. But days later, when she arrived in Bali, her plan to combine a vacation with photography assignments, ended in disaster.
Despite Indonesia’s hardline stance on narcotics, it’s not uncommon to hear of foreigners getting caught in possession of, or trying to smuggle illegal substances. Towards the end of 2017, Frenchman Anthony Lambert was sentenced to five years in prison after being arrested with 14 grams of marijuana that he claimed was for personal use, to ‘ease his pain’ after a difficult divorce.
Meanwhile, Liakhava has been charged with importing marijuana into Indonesia. Despite the small quantity she was caught with, she could face a prison term of four to 12 years as well as a hefty fine, though in many cases Indonesian judges opt to send offenders for rehabilitation instead.