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Jakarta Post

House to question attorney general on 'light' sentence sought for suspects in Novel case

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 16, 2020   /   07:57 am
House to question attorney general on 'light' sentence sought for suspects in Novel case Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan arrives at the Jakarta Police headquarters in Jakarta on Dec. 6, 2019. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

House of Representatives Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, is set to question Attorney General ST Burhanuddin regarding the one-year prison sentence demanded by prosecutors for two police officers accused of attacking Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan.

Commission III chairman Herman Hery said on Monday that lawmakers would invite ST Burhanuddin for a hearing and demand an explanation.

“We will ask the attorney general in a hearing at the end of this month. It will be one of the agenda points,” the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician said.

Herman, however, refused to comment on the sentence demand, noting that the judges handling the case had yet to hand down the verdict.

"We don't have access to the police investigation report. We cannot interfere with the case. The investigator is also not allowed to give the material to us," he said, "But since this [case] has sparked controversy, we will ask the attorney general later.”

The one-year prison sentences sought for the defendants, Chief Brig. Ronny Bugis and Brig. Rahmat Kadir, has left many people disappointed. Some expressed their bewilderment over the short imprisonment demanded by the prosecutors through sarcastic videos and memes in social media.

Read also: 1-year prison sentence demanded for cops who allegedly attacked Novel Baswedan

Ronny and Rahmat have been accused of attacking Novel with acid because of the latter’s work as an investigator for the KPK, which saw several powerful and corrupt politicians and government officials, as well as police officers, end up behind bars. Shortly after he was arrested, Ronny said he considered Novel, who previously served as a police officer, a traitor.

Noting that the attack had left the KPK investigator disabled for the rest of his life, Commission III lawmaker Habiburokhman said the prison sentence demanded for the alleged attackers was "too light".

“The one-year sentence hurts our sense of justice," the Gerindra Party politician said.

He contrasted the sentence demand with at least three acid attack cases that had been brought to trial before, in which prosecutors demanded 10-year prison sentences each for defendants in the Bengkulu District Court in Bengkulu and the Pekalongan District Court in Central Java. Prosecutors demanded 3.5 years of imprisonment for the defendant in a similar case at the Denpasar District Court in Bali.

"I will not interfere in the case, but logically, the sentences for Novel's [attackers] should be heavier than the three aforementioned cases," he said.