An Australian man faces more than a year in prison After being accused of spitting in the face of an imam at a mosque in the Indonesian city of Bandung.
Brenton Craig Abbas Abdullah McArthur, 47, was held at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport terminal on Friday night, hours after the occurrence in the West Java capital.
It has been reported that he spat at Imam M Basri Anwar’s face at the al-Muhajir Mosque around 6 am on Friday. According to reports, he had been displeased by the mosque’s early morning prayer call while staying nearby in a guesthouse.
Kumparan media reported on Sunday that McArthur has been held at a police station in Bandung since his arrest. He is now facing charges for his alleged behaviour at the mosque.
The Australian is accused of violating articles 315 and 335 of the Indonesian penal code, according to the Bandung police.
Article 315 of the Indonesian code alludes to criticism committed with conscious purpose while article 335 covers hostile treatment.
“The articles we applied for are articles 335 and 315 from the criminal code.” According to reports, senior commissioner Budi Sartono, Bandung police chief, stated, “It is about unpleasant treatment and humiliation.”
“We will see later how the process goes, but the penalty is one year and two months.”
According to the police, McArthur had already booked a ticket to return to Australia that day and had not been attempting to flee the authorities.
On his social media profile, the former Perth resident portrays himself as a multifaceted individual with diverse interests. He describes himself as a computer game developer, author, and educator with a keen interest in philosophy, ethics, human goodness, and electronic engineering.
He has also shared photos of himself practising Wushu martial arts and capturing memories of his travels to Indonesia, including visiting mosques.
A security camera showed footage of an Australian national spitting at an imam in Bandung, West Java. The perpetrator named McArthur Benton Craig Abbas claimed to be disturbed by the sound coming from the mosque. #SEAToday #SEATodaynews pic.twitter.com/rhpVmZzmx0
— SEA Today News (@seatodaynews) April 30, 2023