False Hengky Ruling Causes Controversy
Markus Junianto Sihaloho
A House of Representatives member is urging law enforcers to prosecute a former Supreme Court judge who had become the center of media spotlight after controversially commuting a drug kingpin’s death sentence.
Judge Ahmad Yamani first came to nationwide attention after he led a three-member panel that commuted the death penalty for convicted drug lord Hengky Gunawan into a 15-year jail term.
But anger toward the judge resurfaced recently after a copy of the verdict, which was different from the actual ruling announced to the public, started circulating. The other version of the ruling, which was sent to the prosecutors’ office, suggests that Hengky’s term was slashed further to 12 years.
Almuzzammil Yusuf of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said Ahmad, who recently resigned from the Supreme Court amid public pressure, should be jailed for falsifying a court ruling.
“We are demanding [Ahmad] to not only be dishonorably discharged. If judge Yamani is proven to have falsified a court ruling or received bribes, the Judges Honors Committee must recommend police make a criminal case [against Ahmad] so that he can face justice and sentencing,” the lawmaker said.
Almuzzammil, who is the deputy chairman of the House legal commission, said the Judicial Commission must examine Ahmad’s ruling.
“This is an extraordinary crime worse than terrorism. Because of drugs our future generation is destroyed,” he said.
Hengky was arrested in 2007 for running a major ecstasy production and distribution operation. The Surabaya District Court initially handed down a 15-year prison sentence but on appeal, the Supreme Court gave Hengky the death penalty. His last-gasp appeal led to the death penalty being revoked in April, with the court citing humanitarian reasons.