AUSSIE PILOT GLAD TO BE OUT OF PAPUA JAIL

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Said Indonesian prosecutors sought political motives

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 29, 2009) – The Australian pilot who has just returned home from nine months in detention in Indonesia’s Papua province says he and his four passengers would like to start getting on with their lives again after their harrowing experience.

Until last week, the so-called Merauke Five had been stuck in Papua, either in jail or in virtual house arrest in Merauke, since last September.

They faced legal charges relating to the arrival of their small plane at the local airport without visas or flight clearance.

Pilot William Scott-Bloxham says that being able to leave Indonesia finally, after prosecutors exhausted attempts to imprison them, means a great weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

He says the fact that a visa case went to the highest court in the country was astounding.

"It appears that the whole thing was orchestrated from the Attorney General’s Department. Why, we had no real idea but a lot of people kept bringing up various political reasons and so on."

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