Bandung, West Java (ANTARA) - The Bandung Class I Immigration Office informed on Friday that it was deporting an Australian national, McArthur Brenton Craig Abbas Abdullah, who was arrested for spitting at an imam at a local mosque here last month.

According to head of the immigration office, Arief Hazairin Satoto, 43-year-old Abdullah was deported in accordance with Article 75 of the Immigration Law, which authorizes the deportation of foreigners who violate national laws.

"Today, we will deport (Abdullah). The deportation will take place from Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 9 p.m. local time tonight," he said here on Friday.

Abdullah admitted to his act after he was questioned by the immigration authorities, he informed.​​​​​​​

Abdullah will also be blacklisted and barred from entering Indonesia for six months, he said.

"After six months, or the blacklist period (ends), we will check again if he has decided to re-enter Indonesia, and (the blacklist) can be extended," the immigration official added.​​​​​​​

Satoto disclosed that the Australian national entered Indonesia from Kualanamu International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra, on March 3, 2023. He arrived in Indonesia for a vacation, he said.

"He later extended his stay period here, which was valid until April 29," the office head added.

The Australian was apprehended by Bandung Police shortly before returning to his country from Soekarno-Hatta Airport on April 28 after a video showing him spitting at a mosque imam was circulated on social media. He was later declared a suspect for harassment.

After incarcerating him for four days, Bandung Police decided to terminate the legal process on Thursday (May 4) after the imam, Muhammad Basri Anwar, withdrew his complaint against Abdullah, who is a Muslim convert.

Following the termination of legal action, Bandung Police chief, Senior Commissioner Budi Sartono, said that the Australian was handed over to the immigration authorities for follow-up action.

Related news: All religions elevate human dignity: Istiqlal Grand Imam
Related news: Mosques must be responsive to social issues: deputy minister

Translator: Bagus Ahmad R, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2023