A Sentence That Pleases No One

So now it’s official – Nazril Irham aka Ariel, former lead vocalist of pop band Peterpan has been found guilty of violating the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law as well as the Criminal Code for distributing, broadcasting, renting or providing pornographic videos.  The court sentenced Ariel to 42 months in jail plus a fine of Rp 250 million ($28,000).  But this sentence pleases no one.  The prosecutor is unhappy that Ariel is not sentenced to a minimum of 5 years in prison plus Rp 250 million fine as it had demanded.  Similarly the protestors think it’s too lenient while Ariel’s legal counsel thinks there is a miscarriage of justice.

The Verdict

On Monday January 31, 2011 a panel of 3 judges ruled unanimously that Ariel is guilty of violating the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law.  This verdict was delivered by Judge Singgih Budi Prakoso.  While the judges agree with the prosecutor’s demand for a fine of Rp 250 million, they have however sentenced Ariel to 42 months behind bars instead of the minimum of 60 months asked for by the prosecutor.  Several female fans of Ariel reportedly wept upon hearing the verdict.

Reaction From Luna Maya

Ariel’s current girlfriend Luna Maya, who is herself implicated in the Peterporn sex videos, said: “They say Indonesia is a democracy, but where’s the democracy?  We’re Indonesians, we pay taxes, we’ve never done anything wrong, we’ve done nothing. But it’s like they’re raping our freedom, they’re raping our privacy.” Then in an outburst of frustration, Luna Maya added: “If this country is going to hand out punishments based on public opinion then we may as well do away with the courts.”

Reaction From The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) And Others

Abdul Qohar, the West Java provincial head of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) said:  “Looking at this through Muslim goggles, for the FPI and all Muslims, adulterers must be stoned to death.”  Indeed hundreds of Muslim hardliners staged a protest at the court compound against the “too lenient” sentence meted to Ariel.

Earlier about 1.,000 demonstrators from the Alliance of Islamic Movements threw rotten eggs and tomatoes at Ariel before the start of the trial. Ariel had to be rushed into an armored police car briefly for protection. At a rally outside the court building, a rally participant said: “We’ve been guarding the court hearing from start to finish. This is the moment for upholding the law in this country. If Ariel Peterpan, the sex video perpetrator is freed, we will take action.”  

Previously, Andri Rusmana, the secretary of the WQest Java Alliance of Islamic Movements, a Muslim alliance of 26 organizations said: “For the verdict of Ariel Peterpan, God willing, we will mobilize some 10,000 people.”  But what is the purpose of sending 10,000 people to hear the verdict?  Andri Rusmana explains: “Ariel should be punished as severely as possible, at least what the prosecutors have recommended. This action is a form of our concern for this case, which has already caused worries across Indonesia.If the verdict is not like the prosecutors have recommended, then we will push them to file an appeal.”

Not surprisingly, the Bandung police mobilized 1,000 officers to handle the security situation on the day of the verdict.

Reaction From O C Kaligis

Ariel’s lead counsel, O C Kaligis declared that a miscarriage of justice had taken place.  He said that the court was wrong to apply the 2008 Anti-Pornographic Law retroactively to 2006 when the alleged offenses take place. 

Earlier O C Kaligis was confident that Ariel would be acquitted.  However that posed another problem.  O C Kaligis explains: “If he is acquitted, I’m afraid the demonstrators would set the court on fire.”

“I Want To Be Free”

Before the announcement of the verdict, Ariel said: “I want to be free, I hope so much that I will be acquitted.” Then explaining his family’s reaction, Ariel said: “My family supports me with prayers but it’s better for them not to be here. I’m afraid for their safety. You saw how the situation in front of the court.”

Ariel smiled when the court’s verdict was delivered.  He did not say whether he would appeal, but his defense counsel, O C Kaligis said he would.  Ariel has been under detention since last June.

Police Now Pursuing Luna Maya And Cut Tari

Following the court’s verdict, National Police spokesman Insp Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam said concerning Luna Maya and Cut Tari: “What they did is related with Ariel. The investigators will definitely make a move since Ariel was found guilty today.”

Cut Tari had already admitted that she appeared in one of the Peterporn sex videos having sex with Ariel.  But this was denied by Ariel.  Meanwhile, Luna Maya and Ariel had also denied appearing in other Peterporn sex videos, claiming to be victims of lookalike characters. 

Now that Ariel has been convicted, has Luna Maya’s defense been compromised?

Think About It

O C Kaligis says that there is a miscarriage of justice, because the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law was applied retroactively to Ariel’s offense committed in 2006.  Is he correct?  Luna Maya said that Ariel’s punishment is “based on public opinion.”  Is she correct?  Will the National Police now charge Luna Maya and Cut Tari now that they have succeeded in getting a conviction regarding Ariel?  Will this verdict end the media circus over the Peterporn sex videos?

Previous posts

Peterporn Sex Videos – Court Ruling Expected On January 31
Peterporn Sex Videos – Prosecutor Demands 5 Years Prison Term For Ariel

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