Bali drug Brit Paul Beales is freed
Bali drug Brit Paul Beales is freed and on way home after three years in jail
The property developer was arrested alongside grandmother Lindsay Sandiford, who remains on death row and could be executed as soon as January.
A British man jailed as part of a drug smuggling syndicate in Bali was last night on his way home to the UK after being freed.
Property developer Paul Beales was incarcerated in Indonesia’s notorious and squalid Kerobokan Prison after being arrested in May 2012 alongside three other Brits, including grandmother Lindsay Sandiford – who is now on death row at the same prison – Julian Ponder and Rachel Dougall.
Beales’ release comes as fears intensify that Sandiford, 59, a former legal secretary and mum-of-two from Cheltenham, could be one of 14 inmates set to be executed by firing squad as early as January .
She has been refused legal funding by the British government and is preparing to launch a final appeal against her death sentence after raising 50,000 Australian dollars in order to start a “PK”appeal.
Her Indonesian legal team are preparing instructions for experts reports that it is hoped will save her life.
A source, who asked not to be named, last night told the Daily Mirror: “Paul has been deported from Indonesia and is making his way back to Britain. He’s overjoyed to be out.
“Indonesian immigration officials collected him from the prison just after 1pm their time yesterday (MONDAY) before taking him to Denpasar International Airport. “He has been through Hell in there and just wants to put his life back together. He’s desperate to be reunited with his family.”
Beales, 43, originally from Milton Keynes, Bucks, had lived in Bali for 15 years up until his arrest.
He has two young children, now aged 12 and nine, with his Indonesian girlfriend, known only as Ella.
On his arrest, he was suspected of helping to mastermind the smuggling plot, designed to import 4.8kg cocaine worth £1.6m from Bangkok into Bali.
He maintained his innocence throughout his trial in December 2012 before he was found guilty of possessing drugs of less than one kilogramme and of selling narcotics of more than five grammes.
Indonesia has some of the toughest drug laws in the world and selling more than five grammes can be punishable by death.
However, prosecutors ruled that Beales was not the main player in the scheme to smuggle more than 10lb of cocaine and so did not demand the death penalty. He was sentenced to four years in jail for drug possession.
His co-accused, antiques dealer, Julian Ponder, who had shared a 10ft by 8ft prison cell with Beales in Kerobokan, nicknamed Hotel K, is still serving a six-year sentence for drug possession.
Ponder’s partner Rachel Dougall was released from jail in May 2013 after being sentenced a year for failing to report a crime.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We do not comment on individuals. Where British nationals are released from prison overseas, we will continue to offer them assistance until they are returned to the UK.”
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