The Canadian government is expressing its dismay at the news that Ontario teacher Neil Bantleman, has had his acquittal on sex charges overturned by an Indonesian court.
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion has said that he is shocked by the Indonesian Supreme Court’s ruling, calling it ”unjust.”
The Burlington man and local teaching aide, Ferdi Tjiong had been sentenced to ten years in prison last April after having been found guilty of sexually abusing students at an international school in Jakarta.
The pair maintained their innocence throughout and following an appeal lodged with the High court in the country, they were acquitted in August of last year.
However, the Indonesian Supreme Court has now decided to overturn the acquittals, while adding another year to their initial ten year sentence.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Dion said that Canada would continue to advocate on behalf of Bantleman and that Canadian officials will continue to provide consular assistance to him.
He also warned that the ruling will have “serious implications for Indonesia’s reputation as a safe place for Canadians to work, travel and invest as well as for Canada’s long history of co-operation with Indonesia.”