Joshua Baker cuts deal with authorities in Bali, transferred to mental health unit

February 13, 2018
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LAWYERS for an Australian man accused of smuggling drugs into Bali have cut a last-minute deal with authorities to get him transferred to a psychiatric hospital, hours before he was due to face trial.

Joshua Baker was supposed to appear at Denpasar Court this afternoon but didn’t arrive at the busy courtroom with the rest of the inmates transferred from Kerobakan prison.

Guards told 9 News the 32-year-old had instead been taken to a mental health unit and was released at approximately 5pm AEDT.

Mr Baker, who was born in Mount Isa in Queensland, was arrested on October 8.

He had boarded a plane in Cambodia allegedly carrying 28 grams of marijuana mixed with tobacco in his luggage and 37 Diazepam pills.

He has been in custody ever since with his lawyer fighting to have him freed on mental illness grounds.

Lawyer Pande Putu Maya Arsanti was not told when her client was moved from the jail holding cells to the hospital. Since his arrest, he has claimed to have a historical mental illness for which he receives treatment.

Mr Baker’s lawyers were hoping to get him transferred to a hospital when he went on trial at Denpasar Court this afternoon and were going to argue that because he has a mental illness he should be released from jail and sent to a hospital instead.

His lawyers were also going to argue he wasn’t of “sound mind” when he boarded the plane in Cambodia.

The last minute deal means Mr Baker’s legal proceedings will be delayed and he will go on trial at a later date.

He is facing the maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

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