Headlines

Police say ‘VVIP’ hospital,
no arrest for minister’s
son is OK

M. Rasyid Amrullah Rajasa: Courtesy of Rumahtangga Kepresidenan
M. Rasyid Amrullah Rajasa: Courtesy of Rumahtangga Kepresidenan

The suspect in a reckless driving case that left two dead on Jan. 1 is currently being treated for shock and a stomach complaint at the VVIP unit of Pertamina Hospital in South Jakarta, according to a statement released by the hospital on Thursday.

The announcement brought an end to speculation as to the whereabouts of M. Rasyid Amrullah Rajasa, 22, son of Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa, while raising questions whether the police have favored the suspect by allowing him to be treated somewhere other than in the Dr. Sukanto National Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta, where suspects in traffic accidents are usually treated.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto denied the allegation, saying that “not everyone named a suspect has to have their medical treatment at the police hospital.”

“This is not a legal matter, it’s about someone’s life and wellbeing that should be above all else and there are some situations that the police hospital cannot handle. Every suspect has the right to chose where they want to be treated and Rasyid’s family wanted him to be admitted to Pertamina Hospital.”

Rikwanto cited as an example another reckless driving suspect Andika Pradita, 23, who was treated in Fatmawati Hospital in South
Jakarta. Andika was driving without headlights when he plowed into several vehicles on Jl. Ampera, South Jakarta, at 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 27, leaving two dead and injuring five.

Rikwanto said officers would not be deployed to guard Pertamina Hospital to ensure that Rasyid made no attempt to escape. National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar further said that they would not slap a travel ban on Rasyid over concerns that he would fly back to London to finish his studies.

“We think positively. We believe that all parties will be cooperative. No need [for a travel ban],” Boy said during a press conference at National Police headquarters in Jakarta.

Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) chairman Neta S. Pane had demanded the travel ban due to an indication that Rasyid planned to travel to London next week.

“It is okay for the police to trust the suspect’s family, but they should anticipate the worst. The police will have a hard time resuming the investigation if Rasyid escapes abroad,” he told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview.

Rasyid was driving his BMW X5 at 120 kilometers per hour when he rear-ended a Daihatsu Luxio on the Jagorawi toll road at 5:45 a.m on Tuesday. Two passengers in the Luxio, 57-year-old Harun and 14-month-old M. Raihan, died in the accident. Three others, including Raihan’s parents, suffered minor injuries.

Police said the accident occurred because Rasyid, who did not test positive for alcohol or drugs, was drowsy after staying up all night to celebrate the New Year in Kemang, South Jakarta, with his girlfriend, Prillia Kinanti, 22. Rasyid was on his way home to Fatmawati from Prillia’s house in Tebet, both in South Jakarta, when the accident occurred.

If found guilty of reckless driving resulting in the death and injury, Rikwanto said Rasyid could face five years in prison.

Rikwanto said that the police had questioned Rasyid and 13 witnesses including Prillia, Luxio driver Frans Joner Sirait, toll road workers, highway patrol officers, surviving victims and others. (aml/yps)

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