Judges at Serang District Court on Monday handed down six months’ imprisonment to Deden Darmawan Sudjana, an Ahmadi defendant in a deadly mob attack that killed three Ahmadiyah followers in Cikeusik, Banten earlier this year.
The sentence was three months lighter than that demanded by prosecutors.
Presiding judge Sumartono said Deden, the only Ahmadi to be tried in relation to the attack, was found guilty of breaching the Criminal Code Article 351 (1) on physical abuse.
Judges also charged Deden with Article 212 on acts against the state, despite the fact that prosecutors had dismissed the article from their indictment.
“The defendant did not obey an order from a police officer who told him to leave the house," Sumartono said, referring to a testimony from police officer Hasanuddin.
Before the riot began on the morning of February 6, Hasanuddin allegedly told Deden and another 20 Ahmadis to leave their homes in Cikeusik. Deden, however, declined and said he wanted to protect his property.
“The police officer was speaking as a representative of the state. He was the officer in charge,” Sumartono said.
“We charged him because of his disobedience,” he said.
“However, we did not find him guilty of inciting hatred.”
After hearing the verdict, Deden questioned the judges’ decision to use Article 212.
“The verdict is very disappointing. The state has failed to show equality before the law,” he said, adding that citizens should not be punished for defending their beliefs. (lfr)