Bedridden 77-Year-Old Stands Trial in Bali

By webadmin on 06:02 pm Jun 26, 2012
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Made Arya Kencana

Denpasar. The trial of a bedridden 77-year-old grandmother opened at the Denpasar District Court in Bali on Tuesday.

Loena Kanginnadhi was escorted from Sanglah Hospital to the courthouse by ambulance, under heavy police guard. Several family members and her lawyer accompanied her.

In opening remarks, presiding Judge John Tony Hutauruk asked about the defendant’s health.

“My head is dizzy and I have a weak body,” replied Loena, with her lawyer standing beside her bed.

Loena is being tried on charges of fraud and embezzlement involving land deals in Jimbaran, Badung, valued at $850,000. She was arrested on April 27 in Surabaya.

Loena’s lawyer, Sumardhan, told the judge he regretted that his ill client was being forced to stand trial.

“With the health condition of my client, who looks like this, does this trial have the heart to continue?” he asked.

Sumardhan also protested the detention of Loena, who has been guarded by police since she was hospitalized on June 11. According to Sumardhan, authorities were in violation a Supreme Court regulation issued in 2000, which states that people over 75 years of age should not be detained.

“How could people who are sick run away?” said Sumardhan, who requested a suspension of his client’s detention.

Prosecutor Putu Astawa said the trial could go forward, based on the recommendation of a team of Sanglah doctors who found that Loena had recovered sufficiently and did not require hospitalization.

The judge then called two doctors to provide medical assessments.

“From your team’s report, she is still sick, but is able to undergo only outpatient care,” said Nyoman Ratep, head of the medical team.

In separate testimony, Sanglah psychiatrist Lely Setyawati Kurniawan said “Loena’s mental condition is unstable and depressed due to social and psychological problems encountered, so the trial should be postponed.”

In light of no clear medical consensus, Judge John ordered that a comparative examination by an independent medical team from the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) be carried out.

At the end of the trial’s first day, the judge ordered that the defendant be returned to the hospital and remain under detention.

“We will consider the application for the suspension of detention,” he concluded.