murder suspect in Bali denied private legal consultations: lawyer
Send a link to a friend
[August 26, 2014]
By Fiona Ortiz
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Chicago-area
teenager detained in connection with the death of her mother on the
resort island of Bali is not being allowed to meet privately with her
legal team in Indonesia, her U.S.-based lawyer said.
Michael Elkin, Chicago-based attorney for 19-year-old Heather
Mack, called on Indonesian authorities to allow her local legal
advisers and investigators working on her case to meet with her in a
Mack and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, were arrested on Aug. 13
as suspects in the death of Mack's mother, 62-year-old Sheila von
Wiese-Mack, whose battered body was found in a suitcase in a taxi
outside the luxury St. Regis hotel.
Mack and her mother had a troubled relationship and von Wiese-Mack
had frequently reported that her daughter punched and bit her,
according to police reports cited by Chicago media.
"Local investigators and/or counsel must be allowed access to
Heather if police officials genuinely wish cooperation from Heather
in a transparent manner," Elkin said in a statement on Monday.
"Heather is innocent of the allegations."
Bali police said there were no further developments in the
investigation and that the suspects are not giving any statements,
on advice of their American lawyers.
Police appointed Indonesian lawyer Haposan Sihombing to represent
the two Americans, but Mack has refused to make statements to him on
"I met with Heather yesterday and a letter has been sent by Michael
Elkin to Bali police about changing (local) lawyers," Sihombing said
[to top of second column]
"Until a new lawyer is appointed, I will remain as her lawyer to
assist Heather," he said, adding that Mack was in "good spirits".
A legal team from Elkin's Chicago office is preparing to travel to
Bali, his office said.
It was not clear whether Schaefer has retained an American attorney.
The two suspects have not been formally charged with a crime. Under
Indonesian law charges would follow an investigation that could take
(Additional reporting by Trisha Sertori in UBUD, Indonesia, and
Kanupriya Kapoor in JAKARTA; Editing by Michael Perry)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.