Kiwi drug convict in Bali facing Covid-19 'death sentence' as cases surge in overcrowded prison

Antony de Malmanche, a New Zealander currently incarcerated in Bali's Kerobokan Prison for drug trafficking, says he is “at very high risk of death” since Covid-19 took hold in the prison.

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Craig Tuck is yet to speak with his client, who allegedly failed a drugs test after cannabis was found in his shared Bali prison cell. Source: 1 NEWS

“Please help me survive this nightmare and return to my family," de Malmanche said in a desperate letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

The 58-year-old from Whanganui described the prison as “very overcrowded" and with "no chance of isolation or keeping safe".

"Medical treatment is only available if you have money,” he said, adding that the jail is meant to hold 300 but has more than 1500 prisoners.

There are 106 positive Covid-19 cases and inmates are being tested for signs of infection or inflammation, called a reactive test. De Malmanche said his test will be positive because of his heart condition, which means he will be put with all the other reactive cases, including those with Covid-19.

“This will be a death sentence for certain,” he said.

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Craig Tuck says Indonesia takes cannabis ‘very seriously’ after his Kiwi client tested positive to the drug. Source: 1 NEWS

De Malmanche has maintained his innocence since he was found with crystal meth in his backpack when he flew to Bali in 2014. He believed he would be meeting a woman he had been chatting with online. The judges could have imposed the maximum sentence of death but instead gave him 15 years, unmoved by evidence of his mental illness and manipulation by online scammers.

At the end of his letter to Ardern, he wrote, “I voted for you in the election that got you in, in the hope you might help me, as the National government refused two times.”

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Antony de Malmanche is suffering from several health problems while in a Balinese prison, according to family and friends. Source: 1 NEWS

The letter, which is being sent to the Prime Minister today, pleads for her to instruct the consulate to request he is released on health grounds. He says the consulate has refused to help in the past.

His lawyer, Craig Tuck, says there is no prisoner transfer agreement with Indonesia “and very few options that don’t involve a diplomatic solution”.