Briton disappears before trial for 'slapping' immigration worker
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A British woman accused of swearing at and slapping an Indonesian immigration official has disappeared from her hotel room hours before she was due in court.
Video of Auj-e Taqaddas, 43, appearing to hit an officer at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali went viral when it emerged in July 2018.
The footage – which Taqaddas claims has been doctored – shows her lashing out after being asked to pay a fine of more than £2,000 for overstaying her visa.
She had arrived at the airport on 28 July last year to get a flight to Singapore but immigration officers fined her after they noticed her month-long visa had expired on 18 February.
Taqaddas was due in court on the Indonesian holiday island on Wednesday but officials told Reuters she failed to appear and her whereabouts is currently unknown.
Public prosecutor, I Nyoman Triarta Kurniawan, said Taqaddas did not respond to text messages and had checked out of her hotel when authorities went to collect her.
“She cannot travel outside Bali because she has been blacklisted by immigration,” he told reporters, adding she would most likely be arrested and brought to court for the next hearing.
The prosecutor is demanding a one-year jail term for Taqaddas, who is facing charges relating to violent behaviour against an official.
She has previously pleaded not guilty, telling the court the video was a set up and had been edited.
The trial was postponed until 11 February so she can be located.