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Officer Gets 10 Months in Aceh Journalist Attack

Banda Aceh, TAG - A tribunal at the Iskandar Muda Military Command in Banda Aceh has sentenced a former military intelligence officer to 10 months in jail for attacking a journalist and threatening to kill him and his family.

Maj. C.H.K. Waluyo, who presided over the hearing on Thursday, ruled that First Lt. Faizal Amin was guilty of grievous assault against Ahmadi, a reporter from the Harian Aceh daily newspaper, and of damaging his cellphone and laptop computer.
“The defendant has clearly been proven guilty on both charges and must serve a sentence of 10 months in jail, minus time already served,” Waluyo said. 


“The defendant is also guilty of threatening the victim by firing three shots near his person with his military-issue firearm.” 


Faizal has already served four months and 20 days in remand, and will therefore have just over five months remaining on his sentence.
Military prosecutors had initially sought a five-year sentence for Faizal on a charge of destroying military property by wasting bullets, before reducing their demand to 10 months. 


During the incident, which occurred in May, Faizal kicked and punched Ahmadi before threatening to kill him and his family if the journalist continued to report on the alleged role of the Armed Forces in illegal logging activities on Simeulue Island, an island off Aceh’s west coast. 


The 29-year-old officer has since been removed from his post within the military’s intelligence division. 


Speaking after the sentencing, Ahmadi said he was satisfied with the sentence and had personally forgiven Faizal for the attack. “Hopefully this case can serve as a lesson to prevent any future violence against journalists, not just in Aceh but around the country,” he said. 


The case centers on Ahmadi’s discovery last year of illegally felled timber in the mountainous region of Seraton on Simeulue. When he sought to clarify the issue with the military command in Simeulue district, he was informed the commander was unavailable and was instead directed to speak to Faizal.
Faizal told Ahmadi not to mention the military in his report, but the story went on to link a military officer, eventually identified as Zulfitra, to illegal logging in the district. 


After the story was published, Faizal instructed his men to find Ahmadi and bring him to a local military shooting range. 


There, Faizal accused Ahmadi of being a liar and traitor, then slapped, punched and kicked him. He then destroyed Ahmadi’s cellphone and damaged his computer. 


Faizal also discharged his gun three times, just above Ahmadi’s left and right shoulders.[]
Officer Gets 10 Months in Aceh Journalist Attack Officer Gets 10 Months in Aceh Journalist Attack Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on January 21, 2011 Rating: 5

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