February 26, 2016
Mr. Len Webber (Calgary Confederation, CPC): Mr. Speaker, a man I know personally and consider a friend now faces 11 years behind bars in a foreign country.
Indonesia’s supreme court has overturned the acquittal of Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman. The crimes he is accused of are unfounded and unwarranted.
Rather than hearing platitudes about the Canadian embassy being in contact with the family, I would like to ask the minister if he has spoken to his Indonesian counterpart. What assurances was he able to secure that this miscarriage of justice will not continue?
Omar Alghabra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs)): Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is deeply concerned and dismayed by the decision of the supreme court of Indonesia to overturn the acquittal of Mr. Bantleman.
I have personally spoken with the brother of Mr. Bantleman yesterday, and reiterated our commitment to work with him on this case. Late last night, the minister spoke with his counterpart, the Indonesian foreign minister, and reiterated our point of view that this was a miscarriage of justice and that this case will have serious consequences on Indonesia’s reputation for people to live, work, and travel abroad to Indonesia.