Australia's foreign minister says journalist getting medical care

Other News Materials 23 July 2008 09:44 (UTC +04:00)

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Wednesday a television journalist charged with drug trafficking in Singapore is receiving appropriate medical treatment for a serious eye infection and will see his family soon, the dpa reported.

Peter Lloyd, the ABC's South Asia correspondent, was arrested one week ago and charged with trafficking in 0.8 grams of methamphetamine to a Singaporean for 100 Singapore dollars (75 US dollars) at a hotel early this month.

"Everything we can do for Mr Lloyd is being done," Smith told reporters.

Smith is in Singapore attending the Association of South-East Asian Nation's (ASEAN's) ministerial meetings, sessions with dialogue partners and the ASEAN Regional Forum, the region's premier security platform.

"Australian officials continue to render consular assistance," Smith said. "The treatment of his medical condition is appropriate."

Smith said that 41-year-old Lloyd saw his lawyers on Tuesday.

"We now simply await the normal judicial and legal processes to continue," he noted.

Under the city-state's harsh drug laws, Lloyd faces up to 20 years in jail and 15 strokes of the cane.

Lloyd was in Singapore on leave from his posting in New Delhi.

He joined the ABC in 1988 working in Sydney for three years before moving to the BBC in London and British Sky News.

He rejoined the ABC in 2000.

Under Singapore's laws, the death penalty is mandatory for anyone caught with more than 250 grams of methamphetamine.

Heroin trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van was the last Australialn executed in Singapore in December 2005.