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New Zealand woman jailed in Bali drugs case

AFP logoAFP 13/04/2017

Myra Williams of New Zealand walks to a holding cell for her trial at a court in Denpasar on Bali island on April 13, 2017. © SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images/Getty Images Myra Williams of New Zealand walks to a holding cell for her trial at a court in Denpasar on Bali island on April 13, 2017. A New Zealand woman was jailed Thursday for two and a half years on the Indonesian resort island of Bail after being caught with a tiny amount of crystal methamphetamine.

Bali airport authorities became suspicious of Myra Williams as she was acting strangely when she arrived on the island in August, shouting and refusing to queue up to have her travel documents checked.

When immigration officials took the 28-year-old for questioning, 0.43 grammes (0.01 ounces) of crystal meth wrapped in plastic slipped out of her pocket.

The anti-drug agency said that she had admitted taking crystal meth, ecstasy and marijuana at a party in the Australian city of Melbourne before flying to Bali.

A court in the Balinese capital Denpasar Thursday convicted her of using drugs and sentenced her to two and half years in jail. Chief judge Ni Made Purnami said she had "been proven legally and convincingly guilty of abusing drugs".

The sentence was less than the three years recommended by prosecutors at a previous hearing.

Indonesia has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world, including capital punishment for traffickers.

Williams avoided the firing squad as she was carrying less than the minimum of five grammes required by law to hand down the death penalty.

Foreigners are regularly caught trying to bring drugs into Bali, a tropical resort island that attracts millions of visitors each year, and some have been sentenced to death.

Jakarta has stepped up a campaign against drug use and has put several foreign and Indonesian narcotics convicts to death by firing squad in the past two years.

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