DENPASAR, Indonesia: A British former war correspondent and an Australian businessman went on trial Thursday on the Indonesian resort island of Bali accused of using hashish.
David Fox, 55, and Giuseppe Serafino, 48, appeared separately in court in the Balinese capital Denpasar after allegedly being caught in possession of small amounts of the drug in October.
They are charged with using, possessing and transporting hashish and could be jailed for several years if found guilty. The defendants do not deny the charges, their lawyers said.
After being arrested, Fox admitted to police that he had been using hashish for years due to the stress of covering conflicts.
The former Reuters journalist covered wars and disasters in countries including Bosnia, Rwanda and Iraq.
“After being interrogated the defendant (Fox) admitted owning the drugs, the hashish… to use for himself,” said prosecutor Erawati Susina.
Serafino also admitted to using hashish, saying it was to treat the symptoms of cancer.
Authorities raided Serafino’s house after a tip-off that a foreigner living there had been using drugs, Susina said.
Police found about seven grams (a quarter of an ounce) of hashish, after which Serafino said Fox had helped him buy the drugs.
Fox was later arrested and police found 10 grams of hashish in his pocket and at his house, along with a bong.
Indonesia has some of the toughest anti-narcotics laws in the world but the pair will escape the death penalty as they have not been charged with trafficking.