National

Clemency recipient could
face another trial for
repeat drug smuggling:
MK

Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD said on Thursday that clemency recipient Meirika “Ola” Franola, who allegedly organizes and controls drug trafficking from behind bars, could face another trial for drug smuggling.

“She is a repeat offender, and thus may go back to the court for her new crime,” he said. “[If proven guilty] she may face the death sentence.” Mahfud said as quoted by tribunnews.com.

Ola was found guilty of attempting to smuggle 3 kilograms of cocaine and 3.5 kilograms of heroin out of the country in 2000. Ola applied for clemency to the President and had her request approved in September last year.

Mahfud said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had acted carelessly when he granted the clemency for Ola.

“I know Pak. SBY personally; he is a very accurate and thorough [in making decisions]. I wonder how he could miss this clemency […] I hope that the President will be more careful [in giving clemency] in the future” he said.

The President’s clemency for Ola has been widely criticized after the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) foiled a drug smuggling attempt at Husein Sastranegara airport in Bandung.

The BNN apprehended NA, a drug courier, for smuggling 775 grams of crystal methamphetamine from India to Indonesia. NA reportedly stated that she received the order to carry the drugs from Ola, who is currently serving her life sentence at the Tangerang Penitentiary.

The President also annulled the death sentence for Ola’s accomplice in the crime, Deni Setia Maharwan in April 2011.

Between 2004 and 2011, Yudhoyono approved sentence reductions for 19 drug convicts, prompting many to question the government’s commitment to its antidrug policy.

In a ceremony to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in July 2006, Yudhoyono firmly stated he would not grant clemency to those sentenced to death for drug trafficking. (han/lfr)

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