Asia

Bali jails Australian boy over cannabis possession

A 14-year-old Australian boy is escorted to court for his trial in Denpasar, Bali November 4
Image caption The boy cannot be named for legal reasons

An Australian boy has been jailed for two months for possessing cannabis on the Indonesian island of Bali.

The case sparked an outcry in Australia, where the media argued the 14-year-old was too young to be jailed.

But Indonesian analysts hit back, criticising Australia for holding Indonesian youngsters in detention in people-smuggling cases.

The teenager, who has not been named, will serve the rest of his sentence at an immigration detention centre.

The jail term includes the time already served, so the boy, from New South Wales, is expected to be freed in two weeks' time.

He will be deported to Australia at the end of his sentence.

The boy bought a small amount of cannabis from a dealer on the island - a crime punishable by up to two years in jail.

But the court treated him leniently after hearing that he had pre-existing drugs problems and had sought help from doctors.

Drugs cases involving Australians in Indonesia regularly cause a huge outcry because of the country's extreme sentencing rules.

The most notorious was that of the so-called Bali Nine, who were convicted of trying to import heroin.

Most of them are serving lengthy prison sentences after having death penalties commuted on appeal.