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Indonesia’s ‘Trial of the Century’ ends in loss of life sentence | Police Information

Indonesia’s ‘Trial of the Century’ ends in loss of life sentence | Police Information

Medan, Indonesia – Indonesia’s so-called “trial of the century” has concluded with a senior police officer sentenced to loss of life for the homicide of his bodyguard.

Ferdy Sambo, the previous head of Indonesia’s Inner Affairs division and a two-star basic, was handed the loss of life penalty on Monday by Chief Justice Wahyu Imam Santoso for the killing of his aide-de-camp, Police Brigadier Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat, in a case extensively seen as a litmus take a look at of police accountability in Indonesia.

“The defendant embarrassed Indonesia’s police power each at house and internationally, and concerned different members of the police power in his crime,” Choose Santoso stated to cheers as he handed down the sentence within the packed courtroom in South Jakarta.

In his sentencing remarks, which took greater than 4 hours to learn, Santoso and the panel of two different judges stated that Sambo had deliberate the homicide of Hutabarat and conspired to cowl up any proof of the crime by destroying closed-circuit video footage.

In response to Santoso, Sambo first ordered considered one of his bodyguards, Richard Eliezer Pudihang Lumiu, to shoot the 27-year-old Hutabarat at Sambo’s house in Jakarta on July 8, 2022, earlier than placing on black gloves and firing further pictures into Hutabarat’s physique.

The case has fascinated and appalled Indonesians for months, with court docket proceedings exposing the police to uncommon scrutiny.

“The decision conformed to the regulation and the general public sense of justice,” Ian Wilson from Murdoch College’s Indo-Pacific Analysis Centre instructed Al Jazeera. “The extreme media scrutiny and public curiosity, together with the information of the case, meant a harsh sentence for Sambo was inevitable.”

Ferdy Sambo seated in court. He is wearing a white shirt and black facemask and has his hand raised.
Ferdy Sambo was in court docket to listen to the sentence however portrayed little emotion because the choose introduced his resolution [Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters]

The prosecution had requested for a life sentence, suggesting an affair between Hutabarat and Sambo’s spouse, Putri Candrawathi, supplied a motive for the killing. Hutabarat’s household stated they didn’t consider that any such affair passed off as Hutabarat was in a dedicated relationship.

Candrawathi was additionally on trial alongside Sambo, additionally charged with premeditated homicide.

Talking following Sambo’s sentencing, Hutabarat’s mom, Rosti Simanjuntak, stated that God had been current on the trial and granted the household a miracle for “the drops of blood that flowed from my youngster”.

“We needed to be affected person and we reward the court docket as a result of the sentence was according to the household’s needs,” she instructed the media.

Sambo and Candrawathi had claimed of their defence that Hutabarat had sexually assaulted Candrawathi earlier than being killed in a gunfight with Lumiu.

Choose Santoso stated that there was no proof that any sexual assault had taken place and that the firefight appeared to have been staged.

When addressing the allegations of an affair, the choose stated that the court docket didn’t want to supply a motive for the crime, and that Indonesian regulation solely wanted to show {that a} crime had been dedicated and that the accused had dedicated it.

Abuse of belief

Ranto Sibarani, a human rights lawyer who grew up in Jambi, the identical province as Hutabarat, instructed Al Jazeera that the loss of life sentence was applicable provided that Sambo was a regulation enforcement officer.

“He was supposed to guard the general public as a police officer and discover and catch murderers, not turn into a assassin himself,” Sibarani stated. “He was given a weapon and the belief to make use of it correctly by the state, and he abused that weapon and his place as the pinnacle of inside affairs.”

Yosua's mother surrounded by media and supporters outside the court after sentence was passed. She is carrying a picture of her son.
Yosua’s mom, Rosti Simanjuntak (centre), stated she was happy that her son’s killer had been sentenced to loss of life [Aditya Aji/AFP]

When sentencing Sambo to loss of life, Chief Justice Santoso stated the annoying elements that led to the loss of life sentence included the actual fact Sambo had killed his personal aide-de-camp and had prompted nice ache to Hutabarat’s household. He added that Sambo’s actions additionally prompted discomfort locally and had been unbefitting a member of regulation enforcement. Santoso stated there have been no mitigating elements and famous Sambo had proven no regret for his crime.

In Indonesia, the loss of life sentence is often carried out by firing squad.

Sambo’s spouse, Putri Candrawathi, in the meantime, was sentenced to twenty years in jail within the hours after her husband’s sentencing — a far long run than the eight years the prosecution had requested for.

When sentencing Candrawathi, the judges stated that she had sullied the title of the Indonesian police because the spouse of a police officer and will have supplied a great instance to the general public. The judges additionally stated there have been no mitigating elements in Candrawathi’s case.

Sambo and Candrawathi can each attraction their sentences, though they’ve but to point that they’ll.

Putri Candrawathi in court. She is wearing a white shirt and white face mask. Her head is bowed so her hair slightly covers her face.
Putri Candrawathi, Ferdy’s spouse, was additionally discovered responsible and sentenced to twenty years in jail, greater than twice the sentence the prosecution had sought [Aditya Aji/AFP]

Each had been on trial together with three different defendants additionally charged with premeditated homicide and who will probably be sentenced over the following two days.

They embrace Candrawathi’s private assistant Kuat Ma’ruf, who was given 15 years, Sambo’s bodyguard Ricky Rizal Wibowo, in addition to junior police officer Richard Eliezer Pudihang Lumiu, who admitted that he fired a number of pictures into Hutabarat on Sambo’s orders. He later collaborated with the police.

The prosecution has requested for eight-year phrases for Ma’ruf and Wibowo, and a 12-year time period for Lumiu.

Indonesia’s police on trial

In a press release, Amnesty Indonesia stated that the case ought to function a reminder to the police that it wanted to make severe enhancements in its inside operations and that this was “not the primary time {that a} police officer had been concerned in an extrajudicial killing”.

“Failure to make sure accountability has the potential to result in repeated human rights violations by officers,” the assertion stated. Amnesty is against the loss of life penalty in all circumstances.

Indonesia’s police power can also be on trial over the lethal crush on the Kanjuruhan stadium in October final 12 months that left 135 individuals lifeless after police fired tear fuel indiscriminately at soccer followers, a few of whom had been younger youngsters.

Three law enforcement officials and three match officers are at the moment on trial in each prison and civil instances involving the deaths.

In a survey in August final 12 months, the pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia discovered that simply 54.2 % of the Indonesian public had belief within the police, in contrast with 58.8 % within the Corruption Eradication Fee and 63.4 % within the Lawyer Normal’s Workplace.

Nonetheless, Murdoch College’s Wilson says he doubts the case will lead to any long-lasting reform of the nationwide police regardless of the damning image it portrayed of the establishment.

“Whereas it might be learn as exhibiting there are limits to police impunity, I believe this shouldn’t be overstated,” he stated. “It’s a excessive profile case wherein the sufferer and perpetrator are police. It was inevitable {that a} heavy sentence could be handed down. You may examine this, for instance, to the shortage of progress and systemic obstruction in accountability for the Kanjuruhan catastrophe.”

Sibarani, nonetheless, is extra optimistic and stated that the case and the verdicts may function a catalyst for change, notably if considered alongside different instances that might present further momentum for reform.

“In fact, there may be all the time an opportunity of police reform if the federal government and the president need it. Notably now after Kanjuruhan and the Sambo instances,” he stated.