Sunday, June 19, 2005

Schapelle Corby Appeal - Useful Case for Appeal Team

On New Year’s eve Adiguna Sutowo and his partner Novia Herdiana went to the Jakarta Hilton Hotel, one of five owned by Sutowo's brother. They had drinks and drugs. When waiter Natong, a law student earning his way through university, returned Herdiana’s ‘bad’ credit card, that apparently pissed off Suwoto, who took out his pistol and shot Natong at point blank range in the head.

His sentence?

Seven lousy years for the callous cold blooded murder. And his lawyer Assegaf has given notice that Suwoto will be appealing.

Hendrik Jehaman, maintaining a watching brief for Natong's family condemned the verdict. He said the only time a murderer received a lighter sentence had been when the defendant co-operated with the court and admitted the offence, something Adiguna has consistently refused to do.

Suwoto is a scion of a powerful wealthy Indonesian family. Jehaman stated the the judges were influenced by the Suwoto big name. He alluded to possible bribery. I wonder whether the fact that Suwoto brought his personal army of more than 100 thugs with him to court had anything to do with the judges rather timid sentence.

The prosecutor?

Chief prosecutor Andi Herman said that the light sentence was not a problem, as "it's normal". Unlike his Bali colleague, he wasn’t sure about appealing against the joke of the sentence.

Suwoto’s father was Ibnu Suwoto, one of Indonesia’s most powerful man during his time. The senior Suwoto was head of Pertamina, Indonesia’s oil conglomerate. He fell out with former President Suharto after a US$10 billion bungle (10 billion in 1970's value) with an oil tanker fleet project.

My teacher taught me that 'comparison is odious', but nevertheless the Schapelle Corby's defence team should use this case to appeal against her 20 years sentence, after a cold blooded murderer can get away easily with a pathetic 7.

I am of course assuming Corby's razzmatazz team is not busy involved in a seance to contact Princess Diana as a material witness?

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