Canadian teacher facing Indonesian child sex abuse trial makes desperate plea to his government: ‘Save me from a fate I do not deserve’
- Neil Bantleman was arrested in July as part of a child sex investigation
- Family said he has been held without charge for more than 100 days
- Police today handed a dossier on the case to prosecutors in South Jakarta
- Family maintain he is innocent of allegations
- Mr Bantleman has written to the Canadian government seeking support
A Canadian teacher facing child sex abuse allegations in Indonesia has pleaded with his government to intervene in his case, as he has been held without charge for more than 100 days.
Neil Bantleman, 45, was working at the Jakarta International School when he was arrested following claims that several of the children at the institution had been sexually assaulted.
Mr Bantleman, who is from Burlington, Ontario, has been held in custody in Indonesia since his arrest on July 14.
Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman was arrested in July in Indonesia following child sex abuse allegations
Mr Bantleman, pictured, has been held without charge in Jakarta for more than 100 days since his arrest
He was greeted by his wife Tracy this morning as he appeared at the prosecutor’s office in Jakarta
In a letter to the Canadian government, Mr Bantleman said: ‘I am writing as a follow up to a letter I sent to you August 14. Since this time, the circumstances of my case have become dire and the time for action on the part of the Canadian government is now.’
He added: ‘As each day passes and circumstances continue to deteriorate I am pleading for your assistance to intervene and act on my behalf. I have been wrongly accused, taken away from my family and denied my human rights. My resolve is beginning to wane and my hope diminishing. I reach out to you in desperation as only government intervention will save me from a fate which I do not deserve.’
Mr Bantleman was taken to the prosecutor’s office in southern Jakarta this morning as police handed over a dossier naming him as a suspect.
His family insist he is innocent and have called on Canadian authorities to lobby on his behalf.
According to his brother, Guy Bantleman, the Indonesian Office of the Attorney General has said Mr Bantleman’s case has been sent forward for trial.
He told CBC News in Canada his brother will probably be moved to the Cipinang Penitentiary for the pre-trial period which may last a further four months.
Mr Bantleman’s family claim the 45-year-old teacher is innocent and called on Canadian authorities to help
Mr Bantleman was arrested alongside Indonesian teaching assistant Ferdinand Tjiong, who is also being held without charge.
The pair were arrested after an earlier allegation of abuse against cleaners who worked at the school
Following the arrests of Mr Bantleman and Mr Tjiong, the school issued a statement supporting the two men.
According to the statement: ‘We are distressed by this turn of events and are very frustrated that our staff members have been detained based on allegations against them that are absolutely false and are made without evidence. We will continue to stand by these staff members, both of whom have exemplary professional records. We appeal to the Indonesian Police to reconsider their decision to detain both men.’
LETTER WRITTEN TO THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT BY NEIL BANTLEMAN
I am writing as a follow up to a letter I sent to you August 14th. Since this time, the circumstances of my case have become dire and the time for action on the part of the Canadian government is now. The office of the Attorney General announced Wednesday, October 29th that they would be accepting my case for trial after rejecting the file on three previous occasions. No further ‘evidence’ had been collected and additional requirements never completed, yet the file has been accepted. These developments are highly suspect and cause concerns about corruption and collusion between the prosecutors office and the police to move this case forward abandoning all considerations of proper legal protocol and procedures.
It is my understanding that there is a legal precedence whereby the Attorney General’s office can still review the file and make a decision to refrain from proceeding to trial. I am asking the Canadian Government to use all its power to take immediate diplomatic action at the highest levels, where political influence is expected to have its greatest effect, to ensure the case does not move forward to trial. This is a critical time as a new government has been sworn in and a new Attorney General is to be appointed within days. The selection of this attorney general is charged with the responsibility of eradicating corruption and eliminating injustice. I have been informed that the founding embassies of JIS, the US Embassy, Australian Embassy and British Embassy, are planning to meet the new Attorney General within days of his/her appointment to lobby for the case to be thrown out. I expect the Canadian Embassy will be present as well. In addition to this lobbying, I am requesting that Ottawa reach out to this newly appointed government at the highest levels to make your concerns known.
Although I am relieved to know that status of the US female individual (JIS Elementary Principal) remains that of a witness, it is difficult to accept that she has avoided being named a suspect. It is apparent that she has been afforded greater protection as an American citizen and I feel it is unacceptable that Canada has not made a greater effort to protect and stand up for an innocent Canadian citizen.
As each day passes and circumstances continue to deteriorate I am pleading for your assistance to intervene and act on my behalf. I have been wrongly accused, taken away from my family and denied my human rights. My resolve is beginning to wane and my hope diminishing. I reach out to you in desperation as only government intervention will save me from a fate which I do not deserve.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2823459/Canadian-teacher-prestigious-Jakarta-International-School-facing-trial-child-sex-allegations.html#ixzz3IPrNH8W9
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