Supreme Court finds Anand Krishna guilty
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The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it had overturned South Jakarta District Court’s not-guilty verdict which had acquitted spiritual guru Anand Krishna of sexual abuse charges lodged by a former disciple.
A three-judge panel gave their verdict on July 24, granting an appeal filed by prosecutors who had sought to overturn the verdict.
In the ruling, the judges, Zaharuddin Utama, Achmad Yamanie and Sofyan Sitompul, did not say whether or not Anand would face a jail term.
The South Jakarta District Court had previously acquitted the prominent spiritual guru of the sexual abuse charges lodged by his former disciple Tara Pradipta Laksmi, 20.
Presiding judge Albertina Ho had said that prosecutors failed to prove that Anand sexually assaulted Tara.
Tara filed a complaint alleging sexual harassment in February 2010. Anand’s trial began six months later and was full of drama and tension.
Prosecutors indicted Anand for making sexual advances to Tara in 2009, asking that Anand be sentenced to two-and-a-half-years’ imprisonment.
Humprey Djemat, the lawyer for Anand, said that he regretted the Supreme Court’s ruling and would decide the next move only after copies of the verdict became available.
“We question why the Supreme Court has granted the prosecutor’s appeal. This case had reached its conclusion. My client is innocent and was acquitted of all charges,” he said.
Humprey said that the Supreme Court had to consider that the presiding judge in Anand’s trial, Albertina, was among the best judges in the country. “She would never acquit someone if he or she was really guilty,” he said. — JP