Australia

British journalist, Australian bar owner face court in Bali

Former British war correspondent David Fox inside a holding cell Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption British former war correspondent David Fox inside a holding cell

A British former war correspondent and an Australian man have faced court in Indonesia on charges of possessing hashish.

David Fox, an ex-Reuters reporter, and Giuseppe Serafino, a bar owner, were arrested in Bali on 8 October.

The pair could face up to 12 years in prison if convicted of drug possession, transportation and use, or four years if found guilty of use alone.

Indonesia has some of the world's toughest drug laws.

Police allege they confiscated 10.09 grams of hashish from Mr Fox's house and clothing in a sting operation.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australian man Giuseppe Serafino sits in Denpasar District Court

"We will convince the judges with witnesses that he's an addict," Mr Fox's lawyer, Haposan Sihombing, told the Australian Associated Press outside Denpasar District Court on Thursday.

"He saw lots of horrible incidents so that every night, he couldn't sleep and started using drugs to calm himself."

Mr Fox, 55, worked for Reuters for 20 years, filing reports from war-torn countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and Rwanda.

The court heard 48-year-old Mr Serafino, who has lived in Bali since 2011, began using hashish as an alternative to prescribed pain medication.

"He used it with the intention of relieving back pain caused by a cyst in his kidney and to increase his appetite," said documents read in court, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Police claim Mr Serafino was found with 7.32 grams of hashish.

The men's cases are being heard separately.