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Campaign to shut methanol bar
Lhani Davies comforts husband Tim at Lombok police headquarters. Picture: Steve Pennells/The West Australian

The grieving parents of Liam Davies have hired an Indonesian lawyer in a bid to close down the bar which allegedly poisoned their son.

"We want to see the bar closed down," Lhani Davies said yesterday. "That's what we want. For Liam's sake."

Their move comes a month after the 19-year-old Perth roof tiler died when drinks laced with methanol were served to him during New Year's Eve celebrations on the holiday island of Gili Trawangan.

It also follows an investigation by _The West Australian _ that showed the bar believed responsible - Rudy's Pub - was still operating after their son's death and serving poisonous drinks to oblivious tourists.

Last week, amid no sign of a police investigation, Mr and Mrs Davies flew to Indonesia to push for a probe into their son's death. With Rosalind Jay, an 18-year-old Canadian backpacker who was poisoned on the same night as their son but survived, they went with police to Rudy's Pub, handed over their son's medical records to police and gave official statements in the hope of kick-starting a belated manslaughter investigation.

Lombok police took a drink sample from the bar and expect the result this week. They said tests positive for methanol would result in criminal charges against those responsible.

But Mr and Mrs Davies, who returned to Perth at the weekend, also hired a lawyer as their representative on the ground to ensure the investigation does not stall.

"We wanted to have somebody who understands the system and how the system works and who we know is talking straight with us," Mrs Davies said.

"We want someone who is not giving us lip service."

In the four weeks since Mr Davies died, Australian and Indonesian authorities have contradicted each other over whether an investigation was taking place and whether critical information had been passed between them.

Three weeks ago, days after he died and despite widespread media coverage in Australia, Lombok police said they had no knowledge of his death.

Last week, they claimed an initial investigation had collapsed because Australian Federal Police did not pass on critical information, including the name of the bar.

Rudy's Pub, on the main tourist strip of Gili Trawangan, is open 24 hours a day and is popular with young backpackers and tourists.

Despite Indonesia's tough stance on drugs, marijuana, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine are openly traded and used at the bar and across the island, which has no full-time police.

An alcohol sample _The West Australian _ took from Rudy's Pub in the week after Mr Davies died showed methanol at four times the level considered dangerous.

Separate tests by Sydney's Sunday Telegraph newspaper backed the finding. It said yesterday its samples taken from the bar last week also contained industrial-grade methanol.

"Oh my God, that gives me goosebumps," Mrs Davies said.

The couple said they were also in the preliminary stages of setting up a charity in memory of their son.

Using his name as an acronym, they plan to launch the Lombok Initiative Against Methanol to fund methanol education and medical testing equipment on the island.