Bali police officer death: British man and Australian woman face murder charges

Sara Connor and David Taylor could be tried as early as next month over death of man on beach in August

An Australian woman and her British boyfriend will face charges of murder over the death of a local policeman in Bali, an Indonesian prosecutor has said.

Ketut Maha Agung, the general crime chief at the office of the Denpasar district attorney, said Sara Connor and David Taylor could face trial as early as next month.

They will be charged with murder, although not premeditated, as well as assault causing death, he said. “As public prosecutors, we are very sure it will be proven,” he told the Guardian. “Later in the trial, the evidence will be presented.”

A police dossier about the pair was completed this week, meaning that Connor and Taylor will soon be moved from Denpasar police station, where they have been held since their arrest on 19 August, and the next stage of the case can begin.

They are likely to be sent to Kerobokan prison, a detention facility known for having high-profile foreign inmates, including members of the Bali Nine.

Connor and Taylor could each face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of murder, although neither has been formally charged.

Taylor’s lawyer previously said his client had confessed to a violent confrontation with the police officer Wayan Sudarsa, whose bloodied body was found on Kuta beach on 17 August.

Haposan Sihombing said Taylor, a DJ, had smashed the officer with the victim’s binoculars, a beer bottle and a mobile phone. The policeman stopped moving following the waterside fight, he added. Police said they found 42 wounds on Sudarsa’s corpse.

“Our client feels sorry for that incident. He admitted it,” Sihombing said, days after Taylor was arrested.

The fight started because Taylor suspected the officer of having taken Connor’s handbag, which contained A$300 (£184), his lawyer said. Connor’s legal team said the woman was not involved in the killing, but was at the scene.

Neither Taylor nor Connor has spoken publicity since their arrest.

Trials in Indonesia can be lengthy and it is possible that the pair will be tried in separate cases.

Police say the couple tried to burn the officer’s clothes and dumped a number of his personal items, including a mobile phone and cut-up ID cards.

Australian Associated Press contributed to this report


Oliver Holmes in Bangkok and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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