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Boy, 14, facing time in Bali jail

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An Australian schoolboy arrested in Bali on drug charges is ''deeply traumatised'' and faces doing time in Kerobokan prison, home of Schapelle Corby, members of the Bali nine heroin ring and a child rapist.

The boy, 14, who is from near Newcastle, was arrested on Tuesday allegedly carrying 3.6g of cannabis.

He is being held in a cell at a Denpasar police station.

As there is no juvenile court system in Indonesia, he would be likely to go to an adult prison if convicted. He faces a maximum sentence of 12 years.

It is believed the boy was in Bali on holidays with his parents, and had been staying near where he was arrested at the resort town of Legian.

Last night he was being comforted by his parents, but a source who has seen him said, ''He's very traumatised.''

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has told the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to make the situation a priority and seek an early release of the boy.

The boy reportedly told police he bought the cannabis for 250,000 rupiah (about $A30) because he felt sorry for the dealer, who complained he had not eaten for a day.

The boy could be held at the police lock-up for up to a month during investigations. If police decide they will proceed with the case, he will be formally charged and face court in Denpasar.

Juveniles are typically treated leniently in Indonesia's courts but often get custodial sentences for drug offences, although the term is usually reduced by between one half and one third.

Bali's only under-age prison is a cell in Kerobokan ? an already desperately overcrowded jail.

Murderers and rapists, including infamous child rapist Mochamad Davis Suharto - also known as Codet or Scar - are doing time in the prison.

Indonesian courts can commute sentences for drug crimes to a few months, or even waive jail time completely, but the accused must be an addict - which might be difficult to demonstrate in the case of a young teenager.

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