Headlines

First time ever, Supreme
Court judge resigns

Achmad Yamanie became the first Supreme Court judge in the country to resign from his position, citing health concerns. The Judicial Commission, however, indicated that the judge may have stepped down after being implicated in the falsification of a court document for a drug lord.

Supreme Court spokesman Ridwan Mansyur confirmed that chief justice Hatta Ali had accepted Yamanie’s
resignation letter on Wednesday.

“The judge, Achmad Yamanie, has tendered his resignation due to his illness,” Ridwan said as quoted by Antara on Thursday.

Ridwan said that added that the Supreme Court would first hold a meeting to discuss the resignation of Yamanie before delivering a report on the issue to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Deputy chief of the Judicial Commission Imam Anshori S. gave a different account as to why Yamanie had resigned from his position.

Imam said Yamanie’s resignation was influenced by his alleged involvement in the forgery of a Supreme Court ruling on drug lord Hengky Gunawan. Yamanie, along with two other judges on the panel, Imron Anwari and Nyak Pha, reduced Hengky’s punishment from death to 15 years imprisonment.

Hengky was arrested in 2006 with 11.1 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, known locally as shabu, and raw materials for the drug’s production valued at Rp 10.8 billion (US$11.3 million). He was also suspected of operating a drug laboratory in Surabaya, East Java.

However, when the Supreme Court verdict was uploaded on the court’s official website mahkamahagung.go.id, it said that the prison term was 12 years, three years lower than the actual sentence. As of Thursday night, the document regarding Hengky’s ruling could not be accessed.

“He was allegedly involved in changing the ruling from 15 years to 12 years in a drug case uploaded to the Supreme Court’s website. This was the motive behind his resignation,” Imam said.

Imam said that the case should not stop with Yamanie’s resignation and that he should be charged with document forgery.

Separately, Judicial Commission’s spokesman Asep Rahmat Fajar said that the commission could launch an investigation into the document forgery. Yamanie, along with two other judges, were reported to the Judicial Commission for commuting Hengky’s death sentence.

“The commission will investigate it further, particularly the possible involvement of other judges,” she said.

The Judicial Commission also expected the Supreme Court to make a statement on Yamanie’s resignation.

“We can accept the resignation of Article 11 of the 2009 Supreme Court Law. However, to prevent people coming to their own conclusion, we suggest the Supreme Court makes a clarification immediately,” he told The Jakarta Post in a telephone interview.

Prior to his resignation, Yamanie was under fire for some of his controversial rulings. Yamani was also one of the judges who annulled the 17-year imprisonment of drug dealer Naga Sariawan Cipto Rimba alias Liong-Liong, in May, last year.

He was among the panel of judges who declared spiritual guru Anand Krishna guilty of sexual harassment and sentenced him to two-and-a-half-years imprisonment.(yps)

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