Extending an Overstay into a Very Extended Stay
Trial Continues of UK Woman in Bali Jail since July 28, 2018 for Slapping a Bali Immigration Official
The criminal assault trial of the 43-year-old U.K. national, Auj-e Taqaddas, charged with slapping an immigration official at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, continued in a Denpasar courtroom on Monday, January 7, 2019.
The woman who has been in police custody since July of 2018, heard public prosecutor’s request for a sentence of one year in prison before the three judge panel hearing the case.
Prosecutors told the court that it was proven that Auj-e Taqaddas physically assaulted a uniformed Indonesian immigration official in the course of performing his duty who was interviewing the woman for overstaying by 90-days her tourist visa. Moreover, her prosecutors underlined that the woman has disrupted public peace by her behavior and there was nothing in the case or her behavior that argued for judicial leniency in the final sentence.
During their plea-demand presentation, prosecutors detailed how on July 28, 2018, Auj-e Taqaddas struck an immigration officer at 9:25 pm after being told she would not be allowed to immediately depart for Singapore before first attending an administrative court and paying any applicable fines in connection with overstaying her visa by 3 months.
Taqaddas was eventually fined Rp. 57 million for overstaying her visa based on a set daily fine under law. But, because of her defiant, non-apoligetic attack on the immigration official, the woman was still barred from leaving until the criminal assault case was settled.
During the July 28th incident, Immigration officials seized the Lahore-born woman’s passport and began to prepare the paperwork to be used in calculating her fine and deportation from Indonesia. Auj-e Taqaddas became enraged, spoke profanely, unsuccessfully tried to grab back her passport from an official’s hands, slapped a uniformed immigration official in the face, and was prevented from throwing a WiFi router at the immigration official she had just struck, throwing it to the floor instead.
The woman, has openly admitted the attack before the court in a trial in which she had acted in an obstreperous manner, requiring the judges to caution the defendant repeatedly. At one point in a recent court session, Auj-e Taqaddas was told by the presiding judge to “shut up, shut up.”
Rising to her feat at he latest court session, the woman said she would present a defense because she believed the prosecutors’ demands were unjust and prejudiced.
During the woman’s January 7th court appearance Taqaddas continued her antics of shouting and screaming at court officials. In return, lead judge Estha Oktavi felt compelled to order police officers to remove the Englishwoman from the courtroom.
Resisting the ouster, the defendant reprimanded the police, shouting they had no right to touch her as she was led from the room. The woman could be heard screaming her protests from outside the courtroom as she shouted at members of the press, threatening to destroy their cameras if they tried to take photograph.
Auj-e Taqaddas has refused legal counsel throughout her trial, claiming at one point that she was a lawyer. The woman, in fact, is a medical expert in the field of cancer research. Apparently, police and prosecutors have decided not to pursue yet another criminal charge of lying before the court.
The somewhat exasperated lead judge responded in the latest trial by telling the woman to return to the court next week to present her defense.
Photo: Radar Bali