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Australian Rampages in Aceh, Faces Five Years in Prison

Australian arrested in Aceh
Image: Bodhi Mani Risby-Jones, Facebook

An Australian man named Bodhi Mani Risby-Jones has been arrested in Indonesia for allegedly assaulting a fisherman and attacking people during a drunken, naked rampage. 

The incident occurred on Thursday on Simeulue Island, in the conservative Aceh province. Risby-Jones could face up to five years in jail if convicted of the crime. 

According to reports, he emerged naked from Moon Beach Resort and struck several people on the main village road. He then assaulted a fisherman from the village of Lantik, who sustained serious injuries requiring more than 50 stitches on his heel. Before leaving the resort, Risby-Jones also hit a security guard.

Locals were infuriated by Risby-Jones’ behaviour and attempted to set the resort on fire. However, they were calmed down by the police and the village head. 

Speaking to media under police custody, Risby-Jones said that he felt “almost possessed” and that he was not himself during the incident. 

The family of the accused has also released a statement expressing remorse and acknowledging the harm caused to the victim and embarrassment caused to Australians.

Aceh is considered the most conservative province in Indonesia, and the only one where Islamic sharia law is applied as an independent source of law. As a result, Risby-Jones could face punishment under the criminal code, with a maximum penalty of five years in jail if the injury is deemed serious. 

He could also be charged with drinking alcohol, which is prohibited under sharia law. Whether the victim’s family can reach reconciliation, often through financial compensation, could also affect the sentencing. Caning is a possible punishment if sharia law is applied.

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