The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has stated he will not intervene in the legal proceedings regarding the acid attack against Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan, with a presidential aide saying the country's leader hoped the judges would hand down a fair verdict in the case.
State prosecutors had previously demanded a one-year prison sentence for the defendants, police personnel Chief Brig. Ronny Bugis and Brig. Rahmat Kadir Mahulette, who are currently undergoing trials in separate hearings at the North Jakarta District Court.
“The President respects the ongoing legal proceedings, in which he has faith and hopes the panel of judges will hand down a verdict that is fair,” presidential spokesperson for legal affairs Dini Purwono said Thursday.
She said Jokowi believed the judges would pay close attention to the criminal articles under which the defendants have been charged, as well as the evidence gathered during the investigation.
She said Jokowi had previously called for a speedy completion of the investigation and for members of the National Police to be scrutinized.
“With the trial ongoing, we need to understand that the President, as the leader of the executive branch, cannot intervene in the authority of the judiciary,” Dini said as quoted by Kontan.
Members of the public have expressed disappointment and bewilderment at the light sentence demanded for the accused attackers. The KPK has called for the two police officers implicated in the case to receive maximum sentences.
House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs has said it would question Attorney General ST Burhanuddin regarding the demanded sentence.
Novel’s advocacy team previously made three demands pertaining to the trial. First, that the judges focus on the facts of the attack against Novel; second, that President Jokowi form an independent fact-finding team; and third, that the Prosecutors' Commission follow up the findings by examining the prosecutors in Novel’s case. (asp)