Australian mining entrepreneur convicted and jailed by Indonesian court

Australian businessman Dennis Connell has been convicted by an Indonesian court of embezzlement in relation to a botched business deal.

Fairfax reports
that the 63 year old mining entrepreneur is now facing the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence following his conviction in relation to a dispute with a former Indonesian politician over the ownership of two mining companies.

Connell's erstwhile business partner Bur Maras alleges Connell defrauded him by committing to the provision of shares in offshore gold miner Golden Arrow Resources, yet subsequently diluting such shares via an authorized issuance.

The 63-year old native of Australia's central coast says he could die in jail due to ailments including fourth-stage prostate cancer and a failing heart, and has vowed to appeal against his conviction.

Connell had previously alleged corruption on the part of Maras, claiming he paid the Indonesian Attorney General's office to trump up charges and rewarded members of law enforcement with luxury cars.

Connell also cautioned others of the perils of doing deals in Indonesia, saying he "got caught like a spider in a web."

The conviction comes amidst a marked worsening in Indonesia's foreign investment environment, with the introduction of laws this year impeding ownership of mining concerns by overseas nationals as well as a string of aborted business deals and legal stoushes involving foreign business parties.

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