01 October 2009

Syekh Puji Goes To Trial...

Pujiono Cahyono Widianto who is also known as Syekh Puji (Syech Puji) has finally gone to trial for marrying a 12-year-old, Lutfiana Ulfa, back in Ausgust 2008. The trial is being held in Central Java at the Ungaran District Court. Puji has been charged and indicted under two articles; art. 88 of Law 2002 (Child Protection Law) and art. 290 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP).

Each of the articles carry a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years. Puji is not expected to receive the maximum sentence. Though it would be a worthy statement that there is no religious exception to the laws of marriage, the protection of children, or the committing of crimes. Nevertheless, there will always be those that argue the laws of man (for want of a gender neutral term) will always be trumped by the laws of God.

The trial is being held behind closed doors. There is some argument as to whether this is necessary because the identity of the perpetrator of the alleged crime and the victim have both been revealed publicly and their photos splashed across the world's media pages. Nevertheless, Indonesian law generally protects the identity of minors involved in criminal matters, both as victims and as perpetrators. I have a picture of them both, but have opted for the one above. Perhaps this is what he is paying OC Kaligis to represent him.

If I was ever going to practice law in Indonesia and I was keen to practice criminal law, then OC Kaligis would be one advocate that I would try and convince to employ me. He gets plenty of interesting work. That is not to say that I would be keen to defend Syekh Puji, but I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to get the best possible representation available, irrespective of their ability to pay. Obviously, the Syekh can pay!

This case and trial might be a little difficult for me to follow from Sydney, but I will do my best.

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