Neil Bantleman to testify against accusers in perjury probe

Jakarta Police are investigating reports of perjury connected to three parents who accused Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman and Indonesian aide Ferdinant Tjiong of sexual assault against young children at the school where they worked.

Bantleman called to witness after police report filed by Indonesian colleague's wife

Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman, right, hugs his wife Tracy, left, after he was released from Cipinang prison in Jakarta, Indonesia, in August. (Achmad Ibrahim/Associated Press)

Jakarta Police are investigating reports of perjury connected to three parents who accused Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman and Indonesian aide Ferdinant Tjiong of sexual assault against young children at the Jakarta Intercultural School where they worked.

Bantleman, from Burlington, Ont., was scheduled to testify at the Police Headquarters in Jakarta on Monday morning at 8 a.m. Indonesia time, according to a media release from his brother, Guy Bantleman. 

An Indonesian TV news show called Liputan 6 and the Jakarta Globe reported that the three parents who've filed accusations about sexual assault against their children are no longer in Indonesia and have moved to Europe.

The perjury probe stems from a police report filed by Tjiong's wife, according to those reports.

"We will continue to fight through the appeal process to ensure the truth is known, and Neil and Ferdi are fully acquitted of all charges and there are no doubts of their complete innocence," Guy Bantleman said in a statement. 

"In addition, we will ensure that the individuals who made these allegations, and those who furthered this entire fabrication, are questioned and made to answer for their actions," he said. 

Bantleman, 45, and Tjiong were found guilty in April on allegations they had raped three kindergarten students at the Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS).

They were sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 100 million rupiah ($7,600 Cdn), but filed appeals to the Jakarta High Court in May. They were freed in August and their conviction overturned.

But last week, prosecutors in Indonesia filed an appeal of that decision. Bantleman cannot leave the country while that appeal is in process. 

Bantleman used to teach at the Webber Academy in Calgary. He had been behind bars in Jakarta since 2014 until August 2015.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.