French student sentenced to five years prison for bringing marijuana into Bali

Anthony Lambert (3rd L) of France leaves a holding cell before heading to the court room as he makes an appearance in his ongoing trial on drug possession in Denpasar, Bali on November 16, 2017. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP

Frenchman Anthony Lambert has been sentenced to five years in a Bali prison for drug possession.

The 23-year-old French student was found guilty of bringing marijuana into Indonesia from Malaysia in Denpasar District Court on Tuesday.

Lambert was arrested in June after arriving at the island’s Ngurah Rai International Airport from Kuala Lumpur with 14 grams of marijuana.

“The defendant is found guilty of importing drugs, marijuana type, with a penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of IDR1 billion (US$73,894). If unable to pay the fine, then he must serve an additional three months in prison,” Judge Made Pasek said in court on Tuesday, as quoted by Tribun Bali.

The judge said Lambert has the right to appeal during a seven-day window.

Lambert’s attorney, Pande Putu Maya Arsanti, said they will consider appealing.

“We are not happy with this decision. We will think it over the next week,” she said.

According to Arsanti, Lambert should have been charged not for drug possession but as a drug user, a designation which carries lighter sentencing guidelines.

The Frenchman had brought the marijuana for his own use to “ease his pain” after undergoing a divorce, claims the attorney.

“So the verdict should not be five years, but the defendant should be deported and rehabilitated in his own country,” Arsanti told reporters.

While we doubt an appeal will result in Lambert getting the massive reduction his lawyer insists he deserves, the Frenchman better move forward carefully, as in Indonesian courts, appeals often result in harsher sentences. 

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