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Operator, Get Me Jesus on the Line!

Italian Bali-Expat Dies in Custody While Awaiting Trial for Phone Prank Viewed as ‘Terrorism' by Police: The Twisted Story of Andrea Geovani Soreti

(2/16/2013) On Monday, February 11, 2010, the strange and twisting tale of Bali expatriate Andrea Geovani Soreti (earlier reported as Sorenti) ended in police custody at a Sleman, Central Java hospital where he died, aged 49, reportedly of dehydration, septicemia and kidney failure.

Soreti had been in police custody awaiting trial on charges connected to an alleged telephone bomb threat he made to Lion Air for a flight flying from Yogyakarta to Bali on October 14, 2012.

On that date, the Italian reportedly made a menacing telephone call to Lion Air suggesting a bomb "might" be on board a flight on which his Indonesian wife had just been denied boarding.

The call was later traced to Soreti who was arrested at his home in Bali where he reportedly worked as a painter.

According The Jakarta Globe, Soreti, who was in Cebongan Prison in Sleman awaiting trial on a terrorist charges resulting from his ill-advised phone threat, fell ill and died shortly after his admission to a local hospital.

Press reports suggest Soreti’s wife was serving as a State witness in the charges prosecutors were preparing against Soreti. She was initially taken into custody with Soreti in Bali.

Soreti was said to be suffering from diarrhea, poor appetite and sleeping difficulties in the days prior to his short hospitalization and subsequent death. An autopsy to determine the actual cause of death is planned by police and prison authorities.

Soreti’s imprisonment, while awaiting trial and a possible 15-year prison sentence for making bomb threats, was not the Italian’s first run in with the law. Following the Bali terrorist bombing of 2002, Soreti was arrested by Bali Police for 60 days on suspicion of possible involvement in the bombing that claimed 202 lives.

Soreti involvement in the operation of a nightclub in close proximity to the Sari Club at the time of the 2002 bombing and poorly phrased advertisements using explosive metaphors erved to initially fuel suspicions, later largely discounted, of the Italian’s involvement in the 2002 bombing.

The Italian Foreign Ministry has consistently denied any role by Soreti, then 39, in the Bali bombing.

Exonerated but subsequently deported back to Italy, Soreti eventually returned to Bali several years later where he resumed his business participation in a number of Bali nightspots.

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