Roman Baswedan: Indonesian police jailed for acid attack on investigator

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Legend
The attack left Novel Baswedan blind in one eye


Two Indonesian police officers were jailed for an acid attack on a prominent anti-corruption investigator.

The attack on the novel Baswedan three years ago left him blind in one eye and is suspected of being linked to corruption cases he was working on.

The officers were arrested after President Joko Widodo ordered the file to be reopened.

But the victim’s lawyer said the sentences – two and a half and a half – were too short.

During the attack, Rahmat Kadir Mahulette threw acid at Mr. Baswedan while he was driving a motorcycle driven by his colleague Ronny Bugis.

Mahulette was imprisoned for two years, while Bugis was imprisoned for a year and a half.

His lawyer, Muhammad Isnur, told the BBC Indonesia that the sentence was “heartbreaking”.

“The verdict is proof of the level of injustice [against Mr Baswedan] and the level of impunity for those who committed it, it will do nothing to prevent the perpetrators from committing such crimes, “he said.

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Getty Images

Legend

The judge announced the verdict in a live decision


The sentences were longer than the one-year term that prosecutors had asked for the attack.

Speaking before the verdict, Mr Baswedan told the BBC Indonesia that he had “forgiven the perpetrators”.

“I accepted what happened to me, so I still have the spirit and the passion to continue fighting corruption. “

An attack that shocked Indonesia

Rebecca Henschke, BBC specialist in East Asia

Indonesia’s shocked acid attack on anti-corruption icon Novel Baswedan on his way home after praying at his local mosque has deeply shocked Indonesia.

His three-year struggle for justice is seen as an example of the extent to which the current government of Joko Widodo is fighting endemic corruption in the country.

Baswedan is arguably the country’s most respected anti-corruption investigator, responsible for a number of high-profile cases that put senior officials behind bars. It was no secret that it had made him a powerful enemy in parliament and the police, and he was regularly threatened with death.

Today’s verdict by two lower-ranking police officers will not end the case. Baswedan has always insisted that he has evidence that the attack was ordered by someone higher up in the chain of command, and has repeatedly publicly criticized the manner in which the police had investigated the attack.

Although he is now blind in one eye, he shows no signs of silence, insisting that he will continue to fight corruption.

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