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Afriyani Susanti, the drunk driver who earlier this year ran over 13 pedestrians and killed nine of them, was sentenced by the Central Jakarta District Court on Wednesday to 15 years in prison after she was found guilty of reckless and fatal driving, but not of intentional murder.
Presiding judge Antonius Widyanto said that Afriyani was guilty of endangering the lives of others by driving recklessly as stipulated under Article 311 of the 2009 Traffic Law.
Returning home from clubbing on the day of the incident, Jan. 22, Afriyani was under the influence of drugs and alcohol as she drove at high speed on Jl. Ridwan Rais in Gambir, Central Jakarta.
“She should have known that she was not supposed to drive as she was too tired and under the influence of drugs,” said Antonius.
While the article carries a maximum jail sentence of 12 years, the court decided to give a harsher punishment by sending Afriyani to jail for 15 years. According to Article 65 of the Criminal Code, courts can increase sentences by up to a third in the case of multiple counts.
Yet, the sentence was lower than the maximum term of 20 years demanded by prosecutors, who initially charged Afriyani with manslaughter, but then changed it to murder, amid pressure from families of the victims and the public that she be given the harshest punishment.
Afriyani, however, was not proven guilty of violating Article 338 of the Criminal Code on murder,
according to Antonius.
“It was not proven that Afriyani intentionally wanted to take someone’s life,” he said at the verdict hearing.
One of Afriyani’s lawyers, Achmad Suyudi, said that he would appeal the verdict, reasoning that the 29-year-old film producer was a human being who wanted to start a family. “So we will ask [for a lighter sentence] based on humanity,” he said.
Prosecutor Tamalia Rosa, meanwhile, said that she would study the ruling before deciding whether to file an appeal or not.
After the presiding judge announced the verdict, one of the victim’s family members immediately yelled at the judge, saying that the sentence was too lenient because she had killed many people.
“I’m sorry sir, I can’t accept this verdict. She should get a life sentence, or even a death sentence,” shouted Mulyadi, 48, the father of Ari, 17, one of the victims.
Other family members then tried to stop Afriyani from leaving the court, creating commotion between them and the police.
The police had to escort Afriyani to the car that would drive her away from the court and create a human barricade to prevent the family members of the victims from harming her. (han)
• Oct. 22, 2008
A tired, drunk driver loses control of a Kopami minibus and crashes onto an underpass wall in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. One passenger dies and others are injured.
• Nov. 17, 2008
A public minivan crashes into a tree in Mauk, Tangerang, killing four and injuring nine. The driver flees the scene.
• Feb. 26, 2010
A speeding minivan tears down the wall of a house in Menteng, Central Jakarta, killing three people.
• July 23, 2012
A speeding Mercedes hits three people at HI traffic circle, killing one. City police spokesman confirms that the driver, 31-year-old Darsan Sutisna, had been drinking wine and vodka shortly before the accident. Further laboratory tests find traces of drugs.