N. Sumatra councillor tried for gambling; Luwu official busted for drugs
The trial of North Sumatra Legislative Council member Palar Nainggolan for gambling began at the Medan District Court on Monday.
The Democratic Party member was tried along with Suspendi, the head of the North Sumatra-Aceh region for PT Pos Indonesia, and two businessmen, Fahruddin, a resident of Jl. Medan Utara and Hanafi Sani, of Jl. Darussalam.
In her indictment, prosecutor Marina Surbakti said that the defendants had been gambling at a restaurant at the Martabe Golf Course in Tuntungan on the evening of May 5.
Marina said they were caught red-handed by police, who seized two decks of playing cards and Rp 1.1 million (US$120) in cash.
“The defendants have violated Article 303 of the Criminal Code and could face two years in prison if found guilty,” Marina said on Monday.
During the trial session, which was presided over by judge E.T. Pasaribu, the court heard testimony from witnesses after the defendants’ lawyers did not submit an exception.
Prosecutors produced two witnesses, Budianto and Rapolo Siahaan from the Medan City Police, who said that they arrested the defendants while they were gambling.
“Based on information that we received, they were gambling with a stake of Rp 200,000 each,” Rapolo told the panel of judges hearing the case.
Rapolo’s testimony was objected to by Palar Nainggolan, who claimed that he and the other suspects were not gambling for money.
“We were holding cards, apparently, but the amount money on the table was only Rp 350,000, which we had collected to buy food,” Palar, the Democratic Party member in North Sumatra, said.
Suspendi testified that some of the four had been holding cards when officers burst in, but had not been gambling.
In a separate case, the South Sulawesi Police have arrested Luwu Deputy Regent Syukur Bijak for allegedly using crystal methamphetamine.
“Syukur and six friends are being detained at the police detention center for further interrogation,” South Sulawesi Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Chevy Ahmad told journalists in Makassar on Monday.
He said drug paraphernalia had also been confiscated at the scene of the crime.
The police were waiting for the results of blood and urine tests before taking further measures against the six.