Drug smuggler home after 18 years in Indonesian jail
A Frenchman who has been held in Indonesia for 18 years after trying to smuggle drugs into Bali has flown into Geneva on his way home after being deported in a case that sparked outrage in France over Indonesia's tough drugs laws.
Michael Blanc, from Bonneville in Haute Savoie, was arrested the day after Christmas in 1999 at Bali airport having been found with 3.8 kilogrammes of hashish hidden inside scuba diving canisters. He said that he was carrying the canisters for a friend.
Mr. Blanc, who is now 45, was given a life sentence, narrowly escaping the death penalty. His prison term was later cut to 20 years. In 2014, he was given parole, which ended a year ago, and has spent the past 12 months on probation. He arrived in Geneva with his mother who gave up her life in France and moved to Indonesia to campaign for her son’s release.