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Light Sentence Sought in Military Officer’s Assault on Journalist

Banda Aceh, TAG. A military prosecutor has lowered his demand for punishment from five years to less than 10 months in jail for a former intelligence officer who attacked a journalist and threatened to kill him and his family in Aceh in May.

Military prosecutor Maj. Jamingun told the Iskandar Muda tribunal hearing on Thursday that First Lt. Faizal Amin was guilty of inflicting a grievous assault on Ahmadi, a reporter for the Harian Aceh daily newspaper.
Jamingun said the defendant had kicked and punched Ahmadi before threatening to kill him and his family if the journalist continued to report on the alleged role of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) in illegal logging activities in Simeulue, an island off Aceh.
The 29-year-old officer has since been removed from his post within the military intelligence division for his violent actions against Ahmadi.
“We demand the panel of judges sentence [Faizal] to 10 months in jail, minus the time already served in detention,” Jamingun told the hearing presided over by Judge Maj. C.H.K. Waluyo.
“We also demand the court return all evidence to the concerned parties — the pistol fired by the defendant to scare the victim should be returned to the defendant and the laptop and mobile phone forcibly taken from Ahmadi should be returned to Ahmadi,” Jamingun added.
Surprisingly, the prosecutor dropped charges he had initially made against the defendant when the trial opened in December for damage to military property, which would have carried a maximum punishment of five years’ imprisonment.
Jamingun had initially recommended that Faizal be charged with damage to military property for wasting bullets by firing them to frighten the victim.
However, Jamingun retracted the recommendation at Thursday’s hearing, confirming that only the pistol itself could be defined as state property and not the bullets fired.
“What I really meant was the pistol itself and not the bullets. The pistol was never damaged. It can still be used. Therefore, I request that the court cancel the charge,” he said.
Jamingun then attacked Ahmadi’s news report that sparked the assault, claiming it was based on untrue allegations.
The reporter had been working at Sinabang on the island of Simeulue when he discovered illegally felled timber in the mountainous region of Seraton.
When Ahmadi sought to clarify the issue with the military command in the Simeulue district, he was informed that the commander was unavailable and was instead directed to Faizal for more information.
“Faizal told Ahmadi that if he was going to report on the case, he was not to mention the TNI in the story,” Jamingun told the tribunal. “However, a story turned up on page nine of Harian Aceh in May linking a military official, eventually identified as Zulfitra, to illegal logging activities in Simeulue.”
Jamingun said there was no basis to Ahmadi’s story.
“It was not illegally felled timber. It had been felled and there was a permit for it,” he said.
However, after the article was published, Faizal instructed his men to look for Ahmadi. When Ahmadi was found, he was allegedly dragged to the district military command’s shooting range, according to the indictment.
“The defendant screamed at Ahmadi, telling him that he was a liar and a traitor. Ahmadi was slapped, punched and kicked by the defendant,” Jamingun said.
The defendant then took out his gun and fired it in the air, near the left and right shoulders of the victim.
The hearing is adjourned until Thursday.[]
Light Sentence Sought in Military Officer’s Assault on Journalist Light Sentence Sought in Military Officer’s Assault on Journalist Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on January 07, 2011 Rating: 5

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