A British man arrested in the killing of a police officer on the tourist island of Bali has confessed to attacking the Indonesian man with a bottle of beer and leaving him unconscious. David Taylor and his Australian girlfriend, Sara Connor, were arrested on Friday, two days after the body of traffic police officer Wayan Sudarsa was found on the beach outside the Pullman Hotel in Kuta, a popular tourist area. Connor’s handbag was found nearby.
Taylor’s lawyer said he did not realise the officer would die.
The couple had been drinking beer on the beach in the hours before the late-night encounter.
Denpasar Police Chief Colonel Hadi Purnomo said Taylor, 45, admitted getting into a fight with Mr Sudarsa after Connor realised she had lost her handbag and accused the officer of stealing it and being a fake police officer.
Police said the dispute escalated after Taylor tried to search Mr Sudarsa, who pushed the Briton to the ground.
Taylor’s lawyer, Haposan Sihombing, said his client admitted to hitting the Indonesian with a mobile phone, binoculars and beer bottle, but he did not realise the officer would die.
“Taylor hit the victim repeatedly with the broken bottle, leaving him face down and unconscious,” the police chief said. The couple left the scene but Taylor returned and turned over the body of Mr Sudarsa, who was still unconscious, he said.
Mr Sihombing said Connor, 33, tried to help Taylor during the fight, but her lawyer, Erwin Siregar, said she denies being involved.
“She insists that she was not involved with the murder at all. She saw from behind that Taylor hit the victim, but she did not know what he used to hit,” Mr Siregar said.
Prosecutors will decide charges after police submit their investigation report. A conviction for intentional murder in Indonesia has a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Police said Connor could be charged with aiding an assault that led to death. The maximum penalty is 10 years if convicted.
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