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INDONESIA

Heather Mack, accused of mother's murder, says Bali jailers attacked her

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 4:14am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 August, 2014, 6:58pm
 

An American teenager suspected of killing her mother, whose body was found in a suitcase in Bali, has revealed she is pregnant and claims she has been assaulted in custody, her lawyer said.

Heather Mack, 19, who denies any involvement in her mother's death, also alleged police on the Indonesian resort island had threatened to deprive her of food and water if she dis not speak to them, her US-based lawyer Michael Elkin said.

He added that she was about two months pregnant.

However Bali police rejected the claims, insisting that all detainees were treated well.

The half-naked, battered body of Sheila Mack, 62, was discovered on Tuesday last week stuffed in a blood-stained suitcase in the boot of a taxi outside the exclusive St Regis hotel in the Nusa Dua resort area.

Her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, who had been on holiday with the victim, were arrested a day later after fleeing the hotel.

Police say they have strong evidence against the pair, and are leaning towards charging them with premeditated murder, which carries a maximum penalty of death in Indonesia.

However, Elkin has insisted claims that Heather Mack was involved in her mother's death were false.

"Said allegations and reports are not true and will be disproven as the investigation continues or at the conclusion of trial, if formal charges are indeed filed," he said.

The daughter and her boyfriend have been named suspects in the case, but under the Indonesian legal system would only be formally charged in court at the start of a trial.

Elkin said his client "has been seriously physically assaulted while in custody", without giving further details, adding that she has been "pregnant for approximately two months".

The suspected killers have refused to talk to Indonesian investigators and insisted on having American legal representation. Elkin said he planned to head to Bali soon. He said that he was not representing Schaefer.

An FBI agent had travelled to Bali to help in the investigation, police on the resort island said. A doctor also revealed new details of the killing, including that the victim's neck was broken.

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