Prosecutors seek 20 years for Afriyani
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Facing 20 years: Afriyani Susanti arrives at the Central Jakarta District Court on Wednesday as her trial for the deaths of nine pedestrians continues. Afriyani was driving while allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Prosecutors are seeking a 20-year prison term. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)
Prosecutors are seeking the maximum punishment for Afriyani Susanti, who knocked down 13 pedestrians, killing nine of them, in an driving incident that took place on Jan. 22 in Gambir, Central Jakarta.
Afriyani, on Wednesday faced prosecutors demands that the Central Jakarta District Court sentence her to 20 years in prison.
Afriyani was charged with murder as stipulated under the Criminal Code and with reckless and fatal driving as stipulated under the 2009 Traffic Law. “The defendant has committed these acts and we demand 20 years’ imprisonment,” lead prosecutor Soimah told the court.
Soimah said that Afriyani was guilty as charged as she was directly involved in the accident.
She argued that the defendant was aware that she was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
“That reckless behavior can be categorized as intentional because she must have been aware of the consequences,” Soimah said as quoted by tribunnews.com.
Afriyani’s lawyer, Efrizal, said that the 20-year term demanded by the prosecutors was too much, saying that they had not considered the statements from the witnesses who were presented in the trials.
“It’s too much, prosecutors did not carefully read the dossiers that contained statements from the witnesses,” Efrizal said, adding that none of the statements had incriminated her.
“Afriyani did not mean to kill anyone. How come these demands are heavier than the sentence of a terrorist in Cirebon who was sentenced to five years in prison?” Efrizal added.
Afriyani, who was seen crying during the trial, was shocked and told the court that she would deliver her own defense statement. The 29-year-old said that she would need two weeks to put her defense on paper.
Presiding Judge Antonius Widyanto, however, denied her request and said that the court would only allow her a week.
“We are running out of time. We will only give you one week to prepare your statement,” he said.
Families of the victims were all satisfied with the prosecutors’ demands. “It’s over 15 years, we’re satisfied with it,” said Asep Triadi.
The trial was adjourned until Aug. 9.
Afriyani is the second person to be charged with murder in cases of this ilk. In 1994, a Metromini bus driver was slapped with the same charge after his vehicle plunged into the Sunter River in North Jakarta, killing 33 people. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
The case of Afriyani has raised concerns over the safety of pedestrians in the capital. A group of activists have suggested that Jan. 22 be recognized as Pedestrian’s Day in remembrance of the victims.
Afriyani apologized following condemnation from the public that she was allegedly driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol when she lost control of her vehicle and killed the nine pedestrians.
She had been clubbing before the incident took place.
Afriyani is now on trial at the Central Jakarta District Court on charges of drug trafficking and drug possession in relation to the incident.
Prosecutors said that Afriyani, together with her friends who were traveling with her; Deni Mulyana, Ary Sendy Tridiarto, Adistina Putri Grani and Pritta Audya Ramadhanie, had illegally purchased and received narcotics.
The indictment stated that Afriyani had been warned three times by her friend Ary that she should not have been behind the wheel and also that she should have taken a taxi home.
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