Judicial Commission Continues Quest to Bring Judge Daming Before Ethics Tribunal
The Judicial Commission will send another request for judge Daming Sanusi to be brought before an ethics tribunal over a controversial rape joke he made last month, after the Supreme Court decided to spare him from punishment.
“After our plenary session, we decided that the Judicial Commission will keep our stance that we recommend judge Daming to be brought to the ethics tribunal inquiry and be given a serious sanction,” Asep Rahmat Fajar, a Judicial Commission spokesman, told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court on Jan. 30 sent a letter absolving Daming in response to a Judicial Commission recommendation to bring the former Supreme Court judicial candidate before an ethics tribunal.
The case centers on a remark by Daming, the chief judge at the Palembang District Court, on Jan. 14 during vetting by the House of Representatives for a position on the Supreme Court. When asked by a legislator whether he believed the death sentence was appropriate in rape cases, he answered: “Both the rapist and the victim enjoy it. So, [we] have to think again about the death sentence.”
Ridwan Mansyur, a Supreme Court spokesman, said it was not necessary for Daming to go before an ethics tribunal because he had made a public and sincere apology. Ridwan added that Daming had served as a judge for 35 years without any violations prior to the incident and he had officially dropped his Supreme Court justice candidacy.
Asep said that while they had considered Daming’s apology and his clean record before they issued a record to the Supreme Court, the commission believed that he had not been punished fairly.
“We have thought about all the factors mentioned, however, they did not negate the serious ethics violation he had committed, we expect the MA [Supreme Court] to respect the authority of each institution as mentioned in our law and regulation,” he said.
Asep said the commission would send an official letter demanding the Supreme Court immediately bring Daming before an ethics tribunal.
“Whether they accept our recommendation, partially or completely, or even if they reject the recommendation, that’s up to them, but please set up the ethics tribunal inquiry immediately,” he said.
Alvon Kurnia Palma, chairman of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), said the only suitable punishment for Daming was to dismiss him from his position.
“We support the Judicial Commission’s efforts to bring Daming to justice, people with perspective about rape cases like him should not be a judge, because his narrow-mindedness would cloud his judgement and we worry that many perpetrators of sexual violence might get away easily,” Alvon explained.
He said the Supreme Court’s decision to not bring Daming to the tribunal would set a bad precedent among other judges who committed serious ethic violations.
“There are too many cases where the judges did not represent their profession properly, we need to stop that,” he said.