Bogor. A 17-year-old suspect who said he killed a member of a hard-line Islamic group known for its violent actions in self-defense was sentenced on Tuesday to three and a half years in prison.
The Bogor District Court had planned to read the verdict during a closed session but about 100 members of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) clashed with 450 police officers and forced their way into the courtroom.
The presiding judge, Syakilla, said the defendant, who was not named because of his age, was guilty of killing Mustofa, an FPI member, with a machete in South Bogor on May 7.
In making their ruling, the judges dismissed the defendant’s claim that he had acted in self-defense after Mustofa and other FPI members attacked him and some friends. “The defendant is guilty of violating Article 351, Paragraph 3 of the Criminal Code on aggravated assault that results in the loss of life,” Syakilla said.
That charge carries a maximum of seven years in prison, but the court cut that in half because of the defendant’s age.
FPI members became involved in clashes with the police after they were told they would not be allowed into the courtroom for the session.
“We just want to monitor the proceedings and ensure they are fair and honest,” said FPI lawyer Ichwan Tuankotta.
After forcing their way into the courtroom, the FPI members protested the sentence, shouting and disrupting the proceedings. Several of the FPI members attempted to reach the defendant but were blocked by police officers, who then cleared the courtroom before the proceedings continued.
“So this is Indonesia’s rule of law?” said Ali Gufron, the head of the FPI in Bogor. “A murderer is protected and we can’t get any fair treatment from the law.”
Ichwan said the defendant should have been tried under Islamic law, which carries a mandatory death sentence for convicted murderers. Shariah is not applied in the country.
The defendant’s lawyer, Eko Perdana, said his client had still not decided if he would appeal the sentence.
“We will consult with his family on whether or not we want to appeal the sentence,” he said.