INDONESIAN customs authorities are demanding that an Australian accused of attempting to smuggle hashish and methamphetamines intoBalibe given the death sentence if convicted.
While Edward Myatt’s fate will ultimately lie in the hands of the Indonesian court system, it is perhaps an indication that prosecutors would also insist the 54-year-old pay the ultimate price if convicted of trafficking.
The news of the Customs office’s stand was delivered late on Monday afternoon by Myatt’s newly-appointed lawyer, Robert Khuana, minutes after he’d visited his client.
“Yes, the Customs office has requested the death penalty,” Mr Khuana said.
“But that’s only Customs. It will depend on the investigation and which article of the law will be imposed.”
Last year, Mr Khuana saved the Bali Nine’s Scott Rush from the death penalty, winning an appeal against the drug courier’s original sentence.
Earlier on Monday, the police revealed they had begun examining Myatt’s mobile phone records in an effort to uncover alleged links to an Indonesian crime syndicate.
Myatt was arrested last week accused of trying to smuggle intoBali1.1kg of hashish and seven grams of methamphetamines, worth an estimated $70,000, contained in 72 capsules he swallowed.
Myatt was interrogated by narcotics officers again on Monday, but remained tight-lipped, refusing to speak to police, as he has done since his arrest last Monday.
“He hasn’t (talked yet). But that’s not a problem,”Balidrugs squad chief Mulyadi told AAP.
“We’re investigating everything, including the possibility of uncovering his network,” he said.
“We’re checking all the calls in and out of his mobile phone. There are Indonesian numbers he has called.”
Police have already said they believe Myatt was a long-term drug mule.
His travel records show he visitedBalisix times previously.
Authorities say his failure to co-operate will only increase the likelihood that prosecutors will press for the death penalty if he’s convicted.
Although born in Ballarat, Myatt is understood to have lived inBritainfor several years and holds both Australian and British passports.
Australian and British consulate officials visited Myatt on Monday. He was taken to hospital under police guard a short time later after complaining of headaches and stomach problems.
He said nothing as he emerged from the interrogation and meetings with officials, but tried to shield his face with his shirt as he ran the gauntlet of media camped at the police headquarters in Denpasar.
Myatt’s fellow inmates also say he has remained silent since his arrival there last week.
“He keeps to himself. He says nothing,” one prisoner told AAP through bars at the entrance to the cell block.
The Australian is being held in a squalid, damp cell with 10 other inmates. A total of 42 prisoners, male and female, are housed in the police headquarters cells, where they mingle closely.
He is expected to remain there until he is charged, after which he is likely to be moved to Kerobokan jail, already home to 12 other Australians convicted for drug-related offences. — with AAP