Michael Petersen’s dream holiday turned into a nightmare. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
Michael Petersen’s dream holiday turned into a nightmare. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Aussie’s Bali holiday nightmare continues

An Australian Air Force veteran detained in Bali for carrying 87 dexamphetamine pills has been returned to police custody instead of being released.

Michael Petersen, from the Hunter Region in NSW, was taken from Denpasar police headquarters to the nearby police hospital accompanied by his wife, Linda.

His lawyer, Edward Pangkahila said the NSW man would likely be released on Wednesday.

Mr Pangkahila said that it was "impossible" to release the Australian immediately because it was late in the day.

The couple arrived in Bali on Saturday for a four-day birthday celebration that turned into a nightmare on arrival at Bali airport.

Michael Petersen on his way to hospital for a final examination. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
Michael Petersen on his way to hospital for a final examination. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Customs and police apprehended Mr Petersen over the large quantity of the medication he was carrying, which he had declared to Customs.

Instead of enjoying the tropical island paradise, Mr Petersen has seen nothing but cells, police interrogation rooms and an emergency trip to hospital after collapsing from complications associated with not taking his medication to treat myasthenia gravis.

The Aussie tourist had arrived in Bali on a romantic trip with his wife, Linda, when the medication was discovered. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
The Aussie tourist had arrived in Bali on a romantic trip with his wife, Linda, when the medication was discovered. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a long-term neuromuscular disease that leads to varying degrees of skeletal muscle weakness.

Mr Petersen's lawyer, Edward Pangkahila, said Indonesian police believe the medication is a suitable treatment for his client's illness and the drugs were not bought on the black market.

Mr Petersen provided copies of prescriptions, a doctor's note as well as his medical records,

which were sent from Australia on Sunday.

Michael Petersen’s dream holiday turned into a nightmare. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
Michael Petersen’s dream holiday turned into a nightmare. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

"He also wrote the medicine on the declaration form when he arrived at the Bali airport, so

there was no attempt to hide (the pills). On that form he also included a copy of the

prescription and a doctor's note," Mr Pangkahila said.

In Indonesia, dexamphetamine contains a Class 1 narcotic and is illegal while in Australia it

is routinely prescribed by psychiatrists to treat ADHD and narcolepsy.

On Sunday, Mr Petersen collapsed at the police station and was rushed to hospital in search

of medication comparable drugs to dexamphetamine, which he takes four times a day.

"He collapsed yesterday from not taking the pill. The officer then took him to the hospital

and the doctors gave him a similar drug," said the chief of Bali's narcotics unit, I Made Pakris.



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