Alleged Sandal Thief Appears in Court
Palu, Central Sulawesi. An Indonesian boy accused of stealing an old pair of sandals belonging to a policeman has appeared in court where he faces up to five years in prison.
Hundreds of people packed the court building in Central Sulawesi’s capital on Wednesday, many bringing pairs of used sandals and piling them outside the courtroom to express their frustration over uneven justice in the country. Some rallied outside the building to demand the boy’s acquittal.
The 15-year-old boy took the sandals in November 2010 near a boarding house used by police. Six months later he was interrogated and badly beaten by police officers who accused him of theft.
Indonesia has made tremendous strides since the ouster of dictator Suharto in 1998, but its judicial system remains a weak point.