18 January 2011

Prosecutors Say They Have Done Enough: Ariel Guilty!

Rusmanto the lead prosecutor's response to the defense claims in Nazril "Ariel" Irham's distribution of sex tapes trial was one for the ages:

“We ask the panel of judges to reject the entire statement of defense put forward by lawyers for the defendant.” And, “We stand by the sentencing demand of five years.”

To be honest, every prosecutor who is worth their salt would stand by the arguments that they have made when leading the court through their case. However, the opportunity is one to, in essence, surrebut the defense case. The simple strategy would have been to take each of the defense arguments one by one and rebut them.

For example, the defense argument that the sex tapes were made in 2005 or 2006 and therefore a law passed in 2008, such as the Pornography Law, cannot apply retroactively. The prosecution, for example, might want to have argued that the actual offense of distribution did not occur until 2010 and therefore the law is not being applied retroactively.

The difficulty though of a closed hearing is that it is hard to get an exact account of what the arguments were. With a bit of luck the 'documents' will become publicly available in the near future, or at least "available", for perusal.

A decision in the case that has gripped the nation since June 2010 should be handed-down by 31st January 2011. This is a case that seems to beg for an appeal. So, no matter what the verdict is, this case will be appealed. If Ariel is acquitted as he must be, then there is no doubt that the prosecutors will appeal. If by some unreal twist of fate Ariel does not walk free, then it goes without saying that the defense will appeal. It would be interesting to see how a time served sentence would be viewed by either side.

I wonder how large a police presence will be required in Bandung to keep order? Let's face it, this case has generated extreme feelings on both sides with fans demanding an immediate release and hard-line Islamic groups demanding that Ariel be sentenced to death.

Well, it is almost time for police and law enforcement officials to find another case to distract public attention and scrutiny away from issues that really matter like the ongoing Sidoarjo mud extrusion or the Gayus shenanigans...and it is probably time for me to find something else to follow too. Any suggestions?

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