The Jakarta Post
The Bandung District Court in West Java has declared three “royal leaders” of the self-proclaimed Sunda Empire guilty of disseminating false information, sentencing them to two years in prison each.
The court found the defendants, so-called grand prime minister Nasri Banks, her royal imperial highness Raden Ratna Ningrum and general secretary Rangga Sasana, guilty of violating Article 14 of the 1946 Criminal Code, which prohibits spreading false information that could cause a public disturbance.
“The defendants have been proven guilty of broadcasting fake news. I hereby sentence them to two years in jail each," presiding Judge Benny Eko Supriyadi said on Tuesday, as reported by kompas.com.
The verdict was lighter than the eight years in jail that the prosecutors had demanded.
Benny said he had given the lighter sentence because the defendants had behaved politely during the trial, because none of them had been previously convicted of a crime and because they had intended to bring about world peace.
Previously, the defendants' attorney, Erwin Syahduddi, demanded that the judges dismiss all charges against the defendants.
In January, a group of people in Bandung, West Java, caused an online sensation by declaring themselves part of the Sunda Empire, Earth Empire, which according to them was a home for the world’s diplomatic corps.
In a nine-minute video circulated on YouTube and Facebook, Rangga Sasana said any country could register with the empire to fight "to settle debts with the World Bank by 2020".
Prior to the emergence of the Sunda Empire, another fictitious kingdom called Keraton Agung Sejagat based in Purworejo, Central Java, claimed to be the successor state of the ancient Majapahit Empire. The police named the self-proclaimed king and queen of the group, Totok Santoso Hadiningrat and Fanni Amanadia, suspects of fraud. (aly)