NZ man who smuggled 1.7kg of crystal meth wants John Key to step in

If John Key can go into bat for a couple of journalists, why not Antony de Malmanche?  He’s rotting in a Bali prison for 15 years after being nabbed with 1.7kg of meth in his baggage.

A New Zealander locked up in an Indonesian jail has made a personal plea to Prime Minister John Key to help get him home.

Antony de Malmanche, from Whanganui, is serving a 15-year sentence in a Bali prison for drug-smuggling. He was caught with 1.7kg of crystal methamphetamine when travelling between Hong Kong and Indonesia in 2014, but his family say he was the unwitting victim of an online scam.

Key arrives in Indonesia for trade talks tonight, and de Malmanche is appealing to the Government to allow him to be transferred to a New Zealand prison.

Speaking via email, the 54-year-old said he had accepted he could be in jail for the full 15 years.

I don’t rate his chances of getting John Key to intervene in the legal decisions of another country. 

Justice Minister Amy Adams has told the family that a transfer is out of the question.

“A prison transfer scheme would bring significant financial and resource implications for New Zealand and its prison system,” she said.

“This would involve diverting scarce public resources from domestic priorities to repatriate New Zealanders who, knowing the risks, have broken the law of another country.”De Malmanche’s family was still holding out hope. Their lawyer Craig Tuck said New Zealand was the only OECD country which did not have some form of prison transfer arrangement with Indonesia.

Tuck said he was putting his efforts into a transfer because appealing the sentence was hugely risky, and could potentially result in a longer sentence or even the death penalty.

De Malmanche has served a year and a half of his sentence at the jail, where Australian Schapelle Corby and members of the “Bali 9” were also locked up for drug trafficking.

“I am faring okay most days,” he said.

“[However], my health has not been too good. I still have the odd angina attack, many infections, and lately some bad faint spells.”

The Bali government showed their leniency by not giving him the death penalty, and allowing him an even chance of coming out as a free man.  Anthony knows very well that appealing will lead to a life or death sentence.

So don’t expect the New Zealand government to apply any pressure. A drug mule would deliver pain, misery, family tragedy and even death to thousands of families.

He’s where he belongs.


– Isaac Davison, NZ Herald

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