The Jakarta Post
Two members of a drug gang in Makassar, South Sulawesi, were sentenced to death after being found guilty of murdering a family of six.
The defendants cried after hearing the verdict, which was read out by presiding judge Supriyadi at the Makassar District Court on Thursday.
In August last year, the defendants -- M. “Ilho” Ilham, 23, and Sulkifli “Ramma” Amir, 22 -- burned down a house where 24-year-old Ahmad Fahri stayed because Fahri owed Rp 10 million (US$706) to Akbar Daeng Ampu, an inmate in Gunungsari, Makassar, who was in jail for drug offenses. The money was meant to buy a packet of crystal methamphetamine.
Akbar ordered the men to kill Fahri, who was hiding at his grandfather’s house in Tallo, Makassar. Ilham and Sulkifli proceeded to burn the house down, killing Fahri, his grandparents, aunt and cousins who were all sleeping at the time. The victims were identified as Sanusi, 70, Bondeng, 65, Musdalifah, 40, Namira Ramadina, 21, and Hijaz, 5.
Akbar was found dead in an isolation cell in Makassar prison on Oct. 23 last year.
The police ruled out suicide due to the fact that they had found a bruise on his neck, which was caused by a chain. Prior to his death, Akbar was sentenced to an additional 10 years for the murders.
On Thursday, the judges found Ilham and Sulkifli guilty of committing premeditated murder.
“The defendants are guilty of premeditated murder as stipulated in the Criminal Code and are subject to the death penalty,” said Supriyadi on Thursday.
The sentence was what the prosecutors had demanded.
“It is very clear that the perpetrators planned the murders since it was conducted during the night when everyone was asleep. We also have to consider the fact that the perpetrators also bought the gasoline to burn down the house,” Tabrani said as quoted by kompas.com on Apr. 4.
One of the defendants’ lawyers, Sriwahyuni, said she was still considering whether to appeal the court’s ruling.
“I will talk about this with the defendants as well as with the other lawyers to see if we will appeal the ruling,” Sriwahyuni told The Jakarta Post.