An accountant and one-time federal election candidate facing drug charges in Indonesia has been rushed to hospital after being paraded before the media.
Isaac Emmanuel Roberts, 35, was arrested following his arrival in Bali from Bangkok on December 4. He’s accused of carrying 19 grams of amphetamine and ecstasy pills in his luggage.
On Tuesday, Bali police paraded Roberts, dressed in orange prison garb and a balaclava, to journalists.
He was later taken hospital, after being shocked by the media attention.
“He got sick. He was shocked after the press conference today. Maybe he never thought that he will be in the press conference,” his lawyer Deni Sedana told The Daily Telegraph.
Earlier, Roberts had angrily suggested he’d been set up by Indonesian authorities.
“I was invited to this country. I was working with a Customs officer and they knew I was going to bring something,” he said.
“I’m just a f***ing addict, they want to waste their resources on addicts. They want to punish addicts, this is ridiculous. What about the f***ing importers? I wasn’t going to sell it to anyone here, no one was going to use it here.”
Indonesian customs officials claimed the drugs were hidden in a plastic bottle and another container in his luggage.
“Based on the results of the inspection, our officers found five packages containing clear crystals weighing 19.97 grams and 14 tablets weighing a total of 6.22 grams,” Bali Airport customs office chief Himawan Indrajono said in a statement.
An accountant formerly based in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, Roberts’ business website hasn’t been updated since 2015 when he faced the professional conduct tribunal of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
The tribunal decided on November 15 of that year that Roberts had failed to reply to correspondence, issuing him with a reprimand and fining him $3100.
He also unsuccessfully ran for former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello’s Victorian seat of Higgins in 2009 as a Liberal Democratic Party candidate.
The seat was won by current federal government minister Kelly O’Dwyer.
There are concerns Roberts could face execution in Bali if convicted of drug trafficking.
In 2015, convicted traffickers and Sydney men Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 35 were executed by firing squad.
They had been arrested in 2005.
The executions strained relations between Jakarta and Canberra and prompted Australia to temporarily recall its ambassador in protest.
Indonesia is facing a drug crisis with an estimated 6.4 million drug users in a country of 250 million people.
As a result, it takes a tough line on drug traffickers.