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Indonesia frees Canadian convicted in child sex case

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia has freed a Canadian teacher who maintains he was wrongfully convicted in 2015 of sexually abusing children at an international school in Jakarta.

Neil Bantleman, teaching assistant Ferdinant Tjiong and five other workers at the school were convicted after allegations of abuse that lawyers said were motivated by money.

Indonesia’s Justice Ministry and one of Bantleman’s lawyers said Friday that Bantleman had applied for clemency, which was granted last month, and he had returned to Canada.

A statement that Canadian broadcaster CBC attributed to Bantleman says, “Five years ago, I was wrongfully accused and convicted of crimes I did not commit and furthermore never occurred. I applied for clemency, which I am pleased was granted by Indonesia last month, upholding essential justice and human rights.”

The Associated Press