Toowoomba accountant in hospital after Bali cell rage
TOOWOOMBA accountant and political aspirant Isaac Roberts, arrested on drugs charges in Bali, has been taken to a police hospital for medical treatment.
Early today Roberts was seen by an ear, nose and throat specialist before being placed back in the hospital cell.
As he was brought out of the doctor's office a handcuffed Roberts looked grim-faced.
Asked by News Corporation how he was faring, Roberts said: "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle." But he did not explain further.
His lawyer, Edward Firdaus Pangkahila, said Roberts had been moved to the police hospital late on Tuesday after complaining that he was unwell and appeared to be raging and talking to himself in the cells.
Mr Pangkahila said it appeared to be the impact of doctor's decisions to reduce his addiction to medication, including sedatives.
Roberts is being held in a locked cell at the Trijata police hospital, near police headquarters in Denpasar.
The 35-year-old former Brisbane man was arrested on December 4 last year at Bali international airport after arriving on a flight from Bangkok.
Police allege that a Customs search of his luggage uncovered 20.54 grams of methamphetamine and ecstasy along with 22ml of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.
He has been locked up in the holding cells at Denpasar police headquarters ever since, pending finalisation of the brief of evidence against him which is due to handed to prosecutors soon. Once this happens Roberts would be transferred to Kerobokan jail to await his trial within weeks.
Roberts, who was born in Toowoomba in Queensland and was an award-winning student during his years at Downlands College, went on to become a successful accountant.
In 2009 he stood as a candidate in the blue-ribbon Melbourne seat of Higgins, representing the Liberal Democrats, but polled poorly.
At the time campaign material described him as advising large private companies and high-wealth individuals on tax policy and legislation.
He had worked at accounting firms in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
After his arrest Roberts was paraded by Customs officials at a media conference where he was made to wear a black balaclava and sat, with two other unrelated foreigners, flanked by armed Customs officers.
Roberts was furious, telling local media that it was ridiculous to parade him like that and that he was a drug addict. And he suggested he was invited to Bali by someone who turned out to be working with Indonesian Customs and told officials he would be carrying "something".
"Parading small time users in front of media for tiny amounts when there are kilos coming through this airport. It's ridiculous," Roberts said. "I was invited to this country by someone who was working with a Customs officer and they knew I was going to bring something. They want to waste their resources on addicts, they want to punish addicts."
Roberts' lawyers will argue, when his case comes to court, that he is a drug addict in need of rehabilitation not jail.
While prosecutors have yet to determine exactly which charges Roberts will face, police are holding him on drug importation and possession charges which carry a maximum 20 years in jail or the death penalty.
However, a sentence of drug rehabilitation, in a designated centre, is available under Indonesian law for those who can prove a long-standing drug addiction and treatment. He will likely also face charges of personal use which would see any sentence substantially reduced.
Roberts is one of two Australians recently arrested in Bali and facing trial.
Fellow Queenslander Joshua James Baker appeared for the first day of his trial in Denpasar District Court on Tuesday, telling the Judges that he is sick. His lawyers say he suffers a mental illness and should not be tried at all and is not criminally responsible.
Baker, 32, from Brisbane, was arrested on October 8 last year, after landing in Bali on a flight from Bangkok. A search of his luggage allegedly uncovered 28 grams of marijuana mixed with tobacco in a tobacco packet. Anti-anxiety drugs, Diazempam, were also found.
Roberts, who was born in Mt Isa, faces drug possession and importation charges along with personal use charges.
His lawyer, Pande Putu Maya Arsanti, says that when the case returns to court next Tuesday she will make an application to have the charges against Baker withdrawn on the grounds that he is suffering a long-standing mental illness.