29 November 2010

Ariel: Round 2 of Peterporn in Bandung...

The death penalty for distributing pornographic videos seems a little bit harsh. Let's face it, a self-confessed pedophile claiming the religious protections of Islam was sentenced to a mere four years in the slammer for sexually violating a 12-year-old girl. On the balance of things, Ariel's case should have been tossed eons ago as he really should not be seeing any more time on the inside than he has already seen in waiting for this trial to get underway.

At best Ariel is guilty of being naive and maybe even a little stupid that he could make a couple of sex tapes that would never see the light of day. In this day and age of instant communication and advanced technology, it was only a simple matter of losing his laptop or having it stolen and the anonymity of these sex-capades was gone.

As it turns out, he lost possession of his laptop and the rest is history, as they say.

To be honest, this really is not the best test case for establishing how well the provisions of the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law work. It is difficult to see how the prosecution will be able to successfully establish the elements of the crime. It just does not seem likely that the prosecution will make out the actus reus or the mens rea of the criminal indictment.

Yet, the prosecutors have opted to pursue this case for reasons that remain unclear. But, now that they have, there is a course of action that must be completed. Hopefully, it does not result in a conviction and then even more embarrassment for Indonesia and the public prosecutors as the case wends its way through the appeal courts.

More exciting than the legal arguments doing the rounds in the court room are the divergent and extreme opinions present outside of the Bandung District Court. Most interesting was the call by the Islamic Reformist Movement (Garis) who is calling for the death penalty to be imposed on Ariel.

Unfortunately, or is that fortunately, for Garis the death penalty is not an option in this case. This is not a Sharia Law court and Ariel is not being tried for adultery. In any event, Ariel would be unlikely to be stone to death for his sexual liaison with Cut Tari. Although, in Sharia Law conducive circumstances, Cut Tari might fall victim to such an antiquated and barbaric form of punishment. This assumes of course that the prosecutors could established when the sex tapes were made and / or where they were made.

I would add that there is nothing reformist about calling for the death penalty in this case.

The base reality here is that this case has become bigger than it needed to be as a result of the self-righteousness of some of the police and prosecutors involved being pushed forward by others, including the white-robed thug brigade (aka FPI), to pursue this. Any self-respecting law enforcement agency would have done the "likely to convict" assessment on this case and determined that the likelihood of a conviction was remote and then decided it is better not to pursue it at all.

It is time to call it quits on this one. Let the man go. He has suffered much more on the public humiliation front than any subsequent jail term will exact. And, he will still have to explain to his child / children (whatever the case might be in the future) what daddy got up to in his younger years. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation (although, if I had a choice, I think I would rather be the fly on the wall in the Tiger Woods household when he has a similar conversation with his kids).

I wonder if Miyabi (aka Maria Ozawa) makes it to Indonesia whether she will swing by Bandung and catch up with Ariel. After all, she would get tongues wagging and there remains a remote chance that an Ariel and Miyabi tape could find its way into the public domain.

Release Ariel! Release Ariel Now!

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