Tuesday 12 December 2017

British man jailed in Indonesia over cannabis haul 'released from prison'

Beales was found guilty of illegal possession of cannabis
Beales was found guilty of illegal possession of cannabis

A British man jailed in Indonesia for possession of drugs has reportedly been released from prison.

Paul Beales was sentenced to four years in December 2012 in a case which involved three other Britons, one of whom is facing death by firing squad.

Beales was found guilty of illegal possession of cannabis after being arrested with Rachel Dougall and her partner Julian Ponder earlier that year in a sting operation against alleged drug traffickers.

They were held alongside Lindsay Sandiford, from Cheltenham, who was found with cocaine worth about £1.6 million as she arrived on the island three years ago.

There have been calls for Sandiford's release since she was sentenced to death in Bali in January 2013. While she admitted the offences she claimed she was coerced by threats to her son's life.

David Cameron raised the matter earlier this year in talks with the Indonesian government.

A source told the Daily Mirror that Beales was collected from prison by Indonesian immigration officials on Monday and taken to Denpasar International Airport to make his journey back to the UK.

The unnamed source said: "He has been through hell in there and just wants to put his life back together. He's desperate to be reunited with his family."

Beales is originally from Milton Keynes but had lived in Bali for a number of years before he was arrested.

A spokesman from the Foreign Office said: "We don't comment on individuals. Where British nationals are released from prison overseas, we will continue to offer them assistance until they are returned to the UK."

Dougall was sentenced to 12 months in prison for failing to report a crime to authorities, returning to Britain in 2013. Ponder was fined and jailed for six years for possession of drugs.

Press Association

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