Australian accountant arrested in Bali has history of depression: lawyers

Australian accountant Isaac Emmanuel Roberts, who has been arrested in Bali on drug charges. December 2017.?? Picture: Amilia RosaJakarta: Australian accountant Isaac Emmanuel Roberts, who is being detained in Bali on drug importing allegations, has a history of depression and past trauma according to his legal team.

Bali police claim Roberts, 35, from Queensland, admitted he bought the drugs in Bangkok paying 2500 bhat (about $100) per gram of methamphetamine and 600 bhat ($24) per ecstasy pill.

Roberts was arrested on December 4 after he was allegedly nabbed with five packets of clear crystal meth weighing 19.97 grams, which Indonesians refer to using the slang term shabu, and 14 ecstasy tablets at Bali’s international airport on December 4.

He faces charges of importing more than five grams of drugs under article 113, which carries a maximum punishment of death and a minimum of five years’ jail.

“He bought it for his personal use. (He admits) ???that he’s a user,” Joni Lay, third division narcotics chief with Bali police told Fairfax Media.

He said police did not know why Roberts had bought the drugs in Thailand and not Bali.

One of Roberts’ lawyers, Deni Sedana, told Fairfax Media that Roberts’ medical records from Australia indicated he was depressed, had suffered past trauma and had suicidal tendencies.

He said he had complained of shock after being dramatically paraded before the media wearing a balaclava and orange jumpsuit with two other alleged foreign drug felons, guarded by customs officers holding guns.

Sedana said Roberts attended a scheduled health check at a Bali hospital on Tuesday.

“He wasn’t rushed to the hospital, he didn’t faint,” Sedana said. “He was stressed. He complained??? of shortness of breath and said he can’t sleep. But it was just a check up.”

Sedana said Roberts did not need to be hospitalised after his check-up and was taken back to Denpasar police station.

He is being detained at the police station while his case is processed before being handed over to prosecutors. He is expected to soon to be transferred to Kerobokan prison.

Lay, the third division narcotics police chief, confirmed that Roberts had been returned to his police cell.

“During interrogation, he was cooperative, ???he didn’t complained of any illness, maybe just shock,” he told Fairfax Media. “There were no problems.”

Lay said he had been scheduled to have a hospital check-up yesterday and another was scheduled for next week.

In a heated outburst after he was escorted out of a media conference yesterday, Roberts said he had been set up and he was “just a f???.g addict”.

“They want to waste their resources on addicts. They want to punish addicts, this is ridiculous. What about the f???..g importers? I wasn’t going to sell it to anyone here, no one was going to use it here.”

Roberts said: “This is an embarrassment for the Indonesian police. They are parading small-time users in front of media for tiny amounts when there are kilos going through this airport. This is ridiculous.”

He claimed he was invited to Indonesia by someone who was working with the customs officer and “they knew I was going to bring something”.

In 2012, Roberts, who was then working for Pitcher Partners in Queensland, won the National Advanced Tax Dux Award.

A press release at the time said he had completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Queensland before completing the chartered accountant (CA) program and a Master of Applied Tax at Atax, University of New South Wales.

Asked at the time how his professional life ended up in tax, Roberts said: “After ‘fluking’ a top-in-class award in income tax law at UQ while studying a finance major, and then a merit in the tax module of the CA program it seems I have a talent for it.”

Roberts also stood as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the Melbourne seat of Higgins in the 2009 by-election triggered by the resignation of former Treasurer Peter Costello.

“I recall Isaac Roberts name but not much else, other than that he was our candidate in a by-election,” Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm told Fairfax Media.

“As a general comment, the Liberal Democrats are strongly in favour of decriminalising drugs (along the same lines as Portugal). However, we obviously don’t condone breaking the law.”

With Toby Crockford

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