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World Aussie mates accused of Bali drug use give evidence in each other's trials

23:20  04 december  2019
23:20  04 december  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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Two Melbourne mates accused of possessing cocaine in Bali have given evidence in each other ' s trials . David Van Iersal told a Denpasar court the night of their July arrest at Canggu' s 'Lost City' nightclub - where he worked as a manager - friend Will Cabantog had followed him into his office to

Two Australians arrested in Bali over alleged drug trafficking links. He said the men were being “cooperative and they give one initial name for us to investigate”. Accompanying police posed with bags of cocaine and scales which they will use as evidence against the men, along with CCTV footage.

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Two Melbourne mates accused of possessing cocaine in Bali have given evidence in each other's trials.

David Van Iersal told a Denpasar court the night of their July arrest at Canggu's 'Lost City' nightclub - where he worked as a manager - friend Will Cabantog had followed him into his office to get "free drink cards".

"I was moving around the office doing different things and he said to me, 'would you like one?' and I look up and it was on the table," Van Iersal said, referring to cocaine that Cabantog had placed on his desk.

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The evidence was set out on a charge sheet as Melbourne friends Will Cabantog, 36, and David Van Iersal, 38, faced the first day of their trials in a Denpasar court. The pair was stony-faced as they sat before a panel of three judges, and through their lawyers, said they had no objection to the police brief.

"I went 'okay'."

a group of people sitting on a counter: The pair are facing more than a decade in jail after allegedly being caught with the drug during a police raid on the venue.© 9News The pair are facing more than a decade in jail after allegedly being caught with the drug during a police raid on the venue.

Van Iersal claimed it was the first time he'd used the drug in Bali.

"It was there, I'd been at work for 15 hours so it happened naturally, and because it was there I said yes," the 38-year-old said.

But the former Melbourne nightclub owner said it was the exact scenario he'd been trying to avoid.

"I've had a problem in Australia - that's one of the main reasons I came to Bali, was to get away from it," he said.

"I had some bad luck last year with business and a relationship and obviously I was going out too much."

Indonesian policemen present Australian William Cabantog (L#34) and David Van Lerse (C) to journalists during a press conference at a police station in Denpasar on July 23, 2019. - Two Australian clubbers arrested in Bali for cocaine possession were paraded in front of local media on July 23 as they faces a possible 12-year jail term, police said. (Photo by Yuda A RIYANTO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read YUDA A RIYANTO/AFP/Getty Images)© (Photo credit should read YUDA A RIYANTO/AFP/Getty Images Indonesian policemen present Australian William Cabantog (L#34) and David Van Lerse (C) to journalists during a press conference at a police station in Denpasar on July 23, 2019. - Two Australian clubbers arrested in Bali for cocaine possession were paraded in front of local media on July 23 as they faces a possible 12-year jail term, police said. (Photo by Yuda A RIYANTO / AFP) (Photo credit should read YUDA A RIYANTO/AFP/Getty Images)

Cabantog, also a former high-flyer of Melbourne's nightclub scene, told the court he'd bought the cocaine at popular Canggu bar 'Old Man's' the night before the pair's arrest.

The 36-year-old said he used the drug to curb his depression and offered "a line" to Van Iersal because they'd "previously done it" in Australia.

During a raid on the Lost City nightclub, police allege they found Cabantog with 1.12 grams of cocaine in his pants pocket as well as an electronic scale and two small empty bags inside his scooter's storage compartment.

Both men later returned positive urine tests for the drug.

They're each facing up to 12 years behind bars, with their trials to resume next week.

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