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RIM chief a suspect in
phone stampede

Jakarta Police have named Andrew Cobham, president director of the Indonesia branch of BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM), as a suspect in the recent BlackBerry sale stampede.

South Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Imam Sugianto told The Jakarta Post that Cobham was named a suspect on Tuesday last week.

The police have named three other suspects in the case, none of which have been detained.

Imam said all suspects were charged with Article 360 of the Criminal Code for negligence that caused injuries to others.

“The article warrants a jail term of less than five years, so an arrest would be unnecessary,” Imam said on Sunday.

Other suspects in the case are event organizer Edwin, mall security officer Markus and RIM security consultant Terry Burki.

On Nov. 25, RIM organized a promotion granting a 50 percent discount for its latest model BlackBerry Bold 9790, also known as “Bellagio”.

Event organizers planned to allow the first 1,000 people in line to buy the smartphone at a discounted price of Rp 2.3 million (US$253), well below the recommended retail price of Rp 4.6 million.

A scuffle broke out when customers, some of whom had been queuing from the day before, began to complain on hearing rumors that the smartphone had sold out.

At least 90 people fainted and a number of others were hospitalized with broken bones.

University of Indonesia crime expert Adrianus Meliala said that he could understand why the police had targeted the head of RIM Indonesia.

The police, Adrianus said, could hold one person accountable for the actions of another, or in this case, for the actions of a subordinate.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Baharuddin Djafar said RIM officials were directly involved in the event.

In a statement, RIM Indonesia said that it was actively cooperating with the authorities in investigating this incident.

“We are also undertaking our own investigation to prevent any reoccurrence of this sort of situation,” RIM said.

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