An Australian developer is set to spend his first night in Bali’s notorious Kerobokan prison as he awaits trial over accusations he defrauded a couple in a “luxury” villa deal gone wrong.
Eric Gillet has spent the past two weeks in police custody in Denpasar after being arrested on February 1 – more than two years after the property agreement was allegedly struck.
The former president of the South Perth Chamber of Commerce was transferred to the District Prosecutor Office where he is expected to be taken to Kerobokan prison.
Dressed in black shorts, a white shirt and sandals, the 55-year-old cut a lonely figure as he spoke with his lawyer Haposan Sihombing from custody.
Mr Sihombing, who was appointed to the case on Monday, said Gillet was in good health and had no complaints.
“He only asked me, `Why is the case continuing?’ … I then explained that he has been named as suspect in a fraud and embezzlement case.
“I told him that I can’t guarantee anything, but I will fight for him in the trial,” Mr Sihombing told reporters.
Prosecutor Purwanta Sudarmaji said they would be working on an indictment over the next 20 days “so that his case would be brought to trial soon”.
Police allege Ketut Semadi and Tommy Comeford met Gillet in October 2013 after seeing the Perth developer’s plan for a multimillion-dollar villa complex, Xanadu Lifestyle Resort, online.
The pair allegedly bought a villa off the plan and transferred more than 6.7 billion rupiah (almost $A690,000) into Gillet’s account.
When the couple later asked for a copy of the land certificate and licence for development, they say it was not forthcoming.
They reported him to police in December 2014, but it wasn’t until December last year that police put Gillet on their wanted list.
Gillet’s girlfriend Enggi Wau has previously said that placing him on the wanted list was unfair as he was in hospital at the time after suffering a mild stroke.
She said he had been travelling back and forth between Australia and Indonesia for the better part of a decade.
Describing Gillet as the owner, designer and “construction supervisor” of Xanadu, the resort’s website had stated that the villas catered to tourists seeking a relaxing vacation and investors “keen on owning a secure Bali-based asset that offers a sound annual return”.