Prolonging the Agony
English Women Charged with Assaulting an Immigration Official at Bali Airport Misses Sentencing Session at Denpasar Courthouse
Radar Bali reports that the 45-year-old Pakistan-born UK national Auj-E Taqaddas managed to postpone her sentencing session on Monday, January 21, 2019.
The legal predicament of Ms. Taqaddas, who works as a highly respected cancer researcher, began on July 29, 2018, when she tried to depart Indonesia after overstaying her tourist visa by three months. Detained by immigration officials in order to pay a large fine followed by formal deportation, the woman became extremely emotional, shouting at officials and slapping a young officer who held her passport.
Taqaddas was under the impression that because she had written an unanswered letter to the Jakarta Immigration Office outlining the background on her overstay there should be no impediment to her immediate departure from the Republic of Indonesia.
While the "overstay" fine was eventually paid, the woman faced the new legal conundrum of answering for the physical assault on a uniformed civil servant attacked in the course of performing official duties.
As a result, Taqaddas has been in custody for nearly six months awaiting the completion her formal prosecution for assault.
When the 3-person panel of Judges and State Prosecutors convened on Monday, January 21, 2019 to hand down the verdict in the case, Taqaddas asked in abstentia that the trial be postponed because the she was suffering from the flu, a sore throat, constipation and a general lack of energy.
The Chief Judge at the trial, Esthar Oktavi, then postponed the reading of the verdict until Monday, January 28, 2019.
Prosecutors commented to the press that Tagaddas was suffering from extreme stress, telling them she could not bear hearing prosecutors demand a one-year prison sentence as the punishment for her crime.
The Judges can accept the sentence demanded by prosecutors, lessen the penalty, or hand down a heavier sentence up to 14-months behind bars, the maximum allowed under the law.