US Ambassador Slams Supreme Court Ruling in JIS Case


FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Jakarta. US Ambassador Robert O Blake on Thursday said his office is "shocked and disappointed" by the decision of Indonesia's Supreme Court to overturn the acquittal of two teachers charged with sexually abusing students at an international school in Jakarta and ordering them to serve out their original sentence.

The two teachers, a Canadian national and an Indonesian, were originally sentenced to 10 years in prison but were acquitted in August last year. The Supreme Court overturned the acquittal and added another year to the sentence.

"In August 2015, the Indonesian High Court found that there was not sufficient evidence to support the teachers’ conviction," Blake said in a statement. "It is not clear what evidence the Supreme Court used to overturn the High Court’s decision."

Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman and Indonesian teaching assistant Ferdinand Tjiong were convicted on charges of abusing kindergarten students at the Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS).

"The international community continues to closely follow this case. The outcome of the legal process will impact international views about the rule of law in Indonesia," Blake said.