Neil Bantleman, Canadian teacher imprisoned in Indonesia, returns to Canada
Krystle Hewitt, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, July 11, 2019 3:02PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 11, 2019 3:07PM EDT
Teacher Neil Bantleman has returned to Canada as a free man after being granted clemency in Indonesia.
The Canadian teacher who was convicted of crimes against three children at an international school in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta was brought back to Canada thanks to the work of consular officials in Indonesia, CTV News Channel's Michel Boyer reported.
“Tracy and I are very happy to be home and reunited with our family,” Bantleman said in a statement. “I would like to express our deep appreciation to the Government of Canada for their steadfast commitment to seeing us home.”
Bantleman’s brother, Guy Bantleman, told CTV News that he returned to Canada in mid-June after intense negotiations over the last 14 months. He said part of the conditions of his release was that it remain as quiet as possible.
Bantleman specifically thanked Guy for the “tremendous amount of time, effort and love that he poured into campaigning for my return.”
Bantleman also took the time to thank his wife Tracy.
“I have no doubt that without her love and commitment this day would not have been possible,” he said. Her tireless efforts with the coordination and communication between our legal team, school, Embassy and family in Canada was the key to securing my freedom.”
Bantleman was originally arrested in 2014, but then released. Indonesia’s Supreme Court overturned that acquittal in 2016, sending him back to prison.
Global Affairs and the Canadian government won’t comment on the case.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the family in 2017, and also brought up the case with the president of Indonesia at the G20 conference in 2016.