A British woman who has been accused of slapping an immigration official in Indonesia fled from her hotel room hours before her trial that was set for Wednesday.
Auj-e Taqaddas, 43, was shown slapping an officer at Ngurah Rai International Airport just south of Denpasar, Bali, in a video that went viral last July, Sky News reported. In the video, Taqaddas is seen yelling at the official after she was asked to pay a fine equivalent to more than US$2,600 for overstaying her visa.
On July 28, Taqaddas arrived at the airport to catch a flight to Singapore but was stopped by immigration officers when they noticed her visa had expired on February 18.
She was supposed to show up in a Bali court on Wednesday but failed to do so. Her whereabouts are unknown.
Public prosecutor I Nyoman Triarta Kurniawan said the accused was found to have checked out of her hotel when authorities went to fetch her for court. She did not reply to any texts either.
He added that Taqaddas had been blacklisted by immigration authorities, which will prevent her from leaving the island, and that she would be arrested and brought to court for a later hearing.
Kurniawan has demanded a one-year jail term for the defendant, who had pleaded not guilty and claimed the video was doctored. Authorities have postponed the hearing to February 11.