18 November 2010
Ariel Going to Trial on Monday...
Anyways, Nazriel "Ariel" Irham of Peterpan fame and more recently of Peterporn fame is going to trial on Monday (22 November 2010) for his alleged role in the distribution of a couple of sex tapes starring himself and Luna Maya and Cut Tari. The trial will be in the district court in Bandung because the alleged act, distribution, took place in Bandung. Interestingly enough, the police have not been able to determine where the actual sex tapes were made.
Ariel has been in detention since 22 June 2010. It is time that he is either released of prosecuted. So, in that sense it is a good thing that this is heading towards a resolution with a trial date set. It is sad that it is going to trial at all.
Unfortunately, the trial is to be closed. According to the Acting Attorney General (well, an anonymous source), pornography trials are closed-door affairs. The rationale, presumably, is that the titillating details would be too much for most Indonesians and they would be influenced in a negative way by all the "perversion" that will come out as evidence in the course of the trial. The only real problem with that is that most people who would be watching the trial have already watched the 'offending' sex tapes either online or on their mobile phones.
There is no reason for this to be a closed trial. This case does not involve minors. The fact that it is closed gives rise to claims that the trial will be unfair. To ensure fairness, the appropriate course of action is to have this hearing as a public one. This is particular so considering that the prosecutors have backed away from pursuing charges for the production of the sex tapes and will be proceeding exclusively on the distribution charges as they are described in the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law.
If Babul Khoir Harahap is to be believed, then the whole prosecution case rests on what Ariel did not do. If this is true, then why is it that Luna Maya and Cut Tari are not being prosecuted at the same time? Simply, they also new about the sex tapes and did nothing to prevent their distribution.
When it is all said and done this is just a couple of sex tapes. There are millions of them out there in cyber space. Yes, there may be some morality questions to be argued here. Maybe there are even some religious concerns about pre-marital and adulterous sex. Yet, the law does not criminalise people for filming themselves in the throes of sexual gratification or orgasmic climax. The law does criminalise distribution if the perpetrator of that distribution is pro-active and consciously doing so. However, the law does not criminalise the failure to prevent distribution of a sex tape where you were unaware of the intended distribution.
Therefore, it would seem that the prosecution really needs to be able to prove that Ariel handed off the sex tapes to Redjoy, and that he knew Redjoy (Reza) was going to upload them to the internet. As far as I recall, Ariel and his amateur porn colleagues have always maintained that they were the victim of a crime, theft. On face value, it would seem that the prosecution is between a rock and a hard place in terms of proving this. Perhaps, there is a need for this to be a closed hearing!