The case of a British man who was charged with theft and violent assault in Bali in May 2022 has hit headlines again as he heads to trial. Gregory Lee Simpson, 36 was found guilty of violent theft on Wednesday 11th May, and has been back in court this week awaiting sentencing.
At the conclusion of his trial, he was given no grace to file an appeal, but during this week’s sentencing, he has been vocal about his treatment while incarcerated and accused authorities of corruption.
Simpson is known to be a cryptocurrency trader who is thought to have been residing in Bali long-term. Simpson, along with his accomplices Nicola Di Santo and Mateusz Mariusz Morawa is said to have orchestrated a violent robbery of a villa in Seminyak. Di Santo is reported to still be awaiting trial and Morawa is believed to still be on the run from Indonesian authorities.
The robbery took place on the 28th of December 2021, at around 2.30 am. Reports from the time state that Simpson and Di Santo climbed over the back wall of the villa to avoid catching the attention of security staff. pol
It is believed that with the help of Morawa over 50 fireworks were set off close to the villa to distress and disorientate the Italian villa owner and his wife. Simpson and Di Santo then bust into the building and violently gagged and bound the victims.
During the earlier trial, the court heard how Simpson held the victims at knifepoint and demanded that he tell them the code to the villa’s safe. The court also heard how the victims did not give the codes easily and were beaten to the point where they were vomiting blood before they gave Simpson the codes.
At this point, it is believed that Simpson and Di Santo cleared the villa of every valuable they could get their hands on. Police reports state that at the time of his arrest Simpson was in the possession of six cellphones, four motorbike registration papers, six-car registration papers, a DSLR camera, four laptops, IDR 200 million in cash, EUR 10,000 cash, $3,000 of Saudi Riyal in cash, and tech with access to a significant amount of cryptocurrency.
During this week’s sentencing hearing Simpson took to the stand and outrightly accused prosecutors from the Badung District Attorney’s Office of corruption. Speaking at the Denpasar District Court on Thursday 30th June, a heated debate broke out between Simpson and Public Prosecutor (JPU) Ni Ketut Hevy Yushantini.
Simpson is reported to have said that the Badung District Attorney asked for money during his initial interrogation. Speaking through a translator Simpson said ‘The one who came [the district attorney] asked for money’.
The court observed how JPU Yushantini became angry at this and continued to question Simpson stating ‘The defendant mentioned the prosecutor asked for the money, this concerns a good name”. It has also been reported that Principe Nerini, 40, the villa owner came to meet with prosecutors and tried to arrange a meeting with Simpson where he also asked for money.
Simpson went on to explain how he believed he was mistreated while in custody. Simpson’s legal advisor Daniar Trisasongko presented photographic evidence to the court and said ‘The defendant was also lit by a match, here is a photo’. These statements seemingly only made the atmosphere in the courtroom tenser.
Simpson and Di Santo are currently facing up to 12 years in prison in Bali for their crimes. It is likely that due to the violent nature of the crimes Simpson will be sent to Bali’s notorious Kerobokan Prison which currently houses the most serious criminal offenders. At the end of the hearing on Thursday 30th, the judge had not announced Simpson’s sentence.
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