Indonesia deports Australian surfer who apologised for drunken rampage

Bodhi Mani Risby-Jones was released from prison on Tuesday after he went through a restorative justice process.

Indonesia deports Australian surfer who apologised for drunken rampage

Indonesia on Saturday deported an Australian surfer who apologised for attacking several people while drunk and naked in the deeply conservative Muslim province of Aceh.

Bodhi Mani Risby-Jones, 23, from Queensland, was detained in late April on Simeulue Island, a surf resort, after police accused him of going on a drunken rampage that left a fisherman with serious injuries.

“Of course I’m pretty emotional, so I’m going to feel bad about it,” Mr Risby-Jones said while waiting for his flight to Melbourne.

He said the fisherman’s relatives forgave him and told him that he was a part of their family now. “I’m welcome to come back and even stay at their house whenever I want,” he said.

Indonesia Australia Surfer
Bodhi Mani Risby-Jones apologised for attacking several people while drunk and naked (Dita Alangkara/AP)

He was released from prison on Tuesday after he went through a restorative justice process, apologised for the attack and agreed to pay compensation to the fisherman.

That allowed him to avoid going to court and facing a possible charge of assault that could have landed him up to five years in prison.

His lawyer, Idris Marbawi, said the two sides agreed that Mr Risby-Jones would pay the fisherman’s family for hospital fees and a traditional peace ceremony.

The total payment was 300 million rupiah (£16,000).

Indonesia Australia Surfer
Bodhi Mani Risby-Jones agreed to apologise and pay compensation (Sultan Ikbal Abiyyu/AP)

“Risby-Jones is the first foreigner to successfully resolve a case through restorative justice in Aceh province,” Mr Marbawi said.

“He deeply regretted what happened and vowed to return to Indonesia for surfing.”

Violent acts by foreigners are rare in Aceh, the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia that practices shariah, a concession made by the central government in 2001 as part of efforts to end a decades-long war for independence.

The sale and consumption of alcohol is forbidden in Aceh, and those found drunk have been caned in public.

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