Defendant escapes from
S. Jakarta court

As if inspired by Julia Roberts' movie Runaway Bride, a defendant in a fraud case allegedly employed the same method to escape his sentence.

Henry Daniel Setya, the defendant in a Rp 6.5 billion (US$668,000) apartment fraud case, managed to escape from a waiting room when state prosecutor Arwanih, who was guarding him, went to the bathroom minutes before the judges read out the verdict at the South Jakarta District Court on Wednesday.

“I left him to go to the bathroom for a while. When I came back, he was gone,” Arwanih said, as quoted by tempo.co, while continuing to look for the defendant.

A panicky Arwanih said he had neither handcuffed or put Henry in the detention room.

Although Henry escaped, the panel of judges decided to keep on reading the verdict.

Presiding judge Dahmiwirda said Henry was found guilty of violating Article 378 of the Criminal Code on fraud and sentenced him to one year and six months in prison.

Dahmiwirda said the judges had started the verdict, so they kept reading it. The escaped defendant was the responsibility of the prosecutor, she said.

The fraud case arose when Henry sold an apartment priced Rp 6.5 billion to a buyer to pay his debt. However, he refused to release the apartment to the buyer and denied that he had sold it even though the buyer had paid the money. (cor/iwa)

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