SYDNEY – – The parents of an Australian teenager on trial in Indonesia for drug possession sold exclusive rights to his story to a commercial television network for a six-figure sum, reports said Sunday.
The 14-year-old is facing a maximum six years in prison after being caught with 6.9 grams of marijuana in Bali’s tourist area of Kuta last month, where he was on holiday with his parents.
Detained since October 4, the boy is hoping to evade a jail sentence by proving he was already addicted to the drug when he came to Indonesia and should instead be sentenced to rehabilitation.
Anticipating their son will be freed, the boy’s parents have brokered a tell-all media deal with Australia’s Nine television network, according to the Sunday Telegraph, which said it was worth between Aus$200,000 and $300,000.
The deal, clinched by a celebrity agent, will reportedly include an interview with the network’s 60 Minutes current affairs programme and Woman’s Day magazine, the Telegraph said.
A 60 Minutes team was preparing to fly to Bali ahead of Friday’s sentencing hearing, after which a network source told the Telegraph they hope to do the interview.
The teen’s lawyer, Muhammad Rifan, told the newspaper he was confident he would evade a prison term.
“That is what we think, that is what the parents of the boy think, and we hope he is home to his friends by next weekend,” he said.
“He knows he did the wrong thing and he is very sorry.”