Justin Trudeau meets with family of Canadian teacher imprisoned in Indonesia

Thu, Feb 25: A Canadian man is back behind bars in Indonesia for sex crimes against minors. But experts question what - if any - evidence exists against Neil Bantleman, and the Canadian government is now condemning the court's decision. Mike Drolet reports.

The family of a Canadian teacher convicted in Indonesia on child abuse charges says it met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week to discuss next steps in the case.

Neil Bantleman has maintained his innocence ever since he was accused of abusing three children at an international school in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

His brother, Guy Bantleman, says the family’s meeting with the prime minister took place on Thursday while Trudeau was in Burlington, Ont., and focused on the government’s next opportunity to bring up his brother’s plight with Indonesian officials.

He says officials plan to raise the issue with the Indonesian delegation at next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Vietnam.

READ MORE: Neil Bantleman, Canadian teacher imprisoned in Indonesia, marks 2 years of ordeal

Last year, Indonesia’s Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s decision to clear Neil Bantleman of all charges and sent him back to prison on an 11-year sentence.

Guy Bantleman says his brother is encouraged by every interaction the family has with the government, particularly with Trudeau.

VIDEO: Neil Bantleman’s wife calls Supreme Court decision ‘inhumane, ridiculous and absurd’

“Obviously he goes through highs and lows, which is typical for the situation he’s in,” he told The Canadian Press on Friday.

“He’s confident that they will do whatever it takes to bring him home. Obviously he’s frustrated given the length of time but he’s a positive person overall and he’s focused on a resolution.”

READ MORE: Vigil planned for former Calgary teacher accused of sexual abuse in Indonesia

Neil Bantleman was first arrested in July 2014 and his case has dragged through the Indonesian justice system ever since.

The 48-year-old was initially convicted and handed a 10 year prison sentence, but was released after the decision was overturned.

He was put behind bars once again when Indonesia’s highest court quashed his acquittal.

At that time, the federal government issued a statement saying it was “deeply dismayed and shocked” at the ruling.

Bantleman’s family has maintained that he was the victim of a corrupt Indonesian justice system.

VIDEO: Neil Bantleman’s aquittal overturned

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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