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Prosecutors seek 8-month rehabilitation for Australian man charged with drug possession in Bali

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — Prosecutors in Indonesia on Thursday demanded an eight-month medical rehabilitation for an Australian man charged with possessing methamphetamine on the tourist island of Bali, after his earlier charge of drug trafficking was dropped which would have carried the death penalty.

Troy Andrew Smith, from Port Lincoln in South Australia, was arrested on April 30 after police raided his hotel in Legian, a popular tourist spot near Kuta Beach, and seized 3.15 grams (0.1 ounce) of crystal methamphetamine inside a toothpaste container from his room. Police found a further 0.4 grams of the drug, along with a bong and a lighter in his desk drawer.

The arrest followed a tip that Smith had received a suspicious package containing toothpaste by mail from Australia. Under Indonesia’s tough drug laws, he faces up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.

During the trial that began two weeks ago, the 49-year-old accountant told the court that he ordered the drugs from a man in Australia three weeks before his arrest and that he regretted his actions and apologized.

He said that he had used meth routinely daily to reduce depression and anxiety since 2020.

Authorities reduced the initial charge of drug trafficking, which carries a possible death penalty, to the less serious charge of drug use after a police drug assessment team determined he was a drug user.

At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, the lead prosecutor Isa Ulinnuha said in Denpasar District Court that although Smith “violated anti-narcotics laws and his action was contrary to the government’s program in eradicating narcotics,” he showed leniency because Smith repeatedly expressed remorse and bought the drugs for personal use.

“He was not involved in illicit