An Indonesian court has sentenced a truck driver to death for transporting 8 tons of marijuana, as part of the government's crusade against what the president claims is a "national drug emergency."
The court in Riau province, in Sumatra, ruled on Thursday that the defendant, M. Jamil, was guilty of attempting to smuggle the drugs overland from Aceh province, on the northern tip of Sumatra, to Jakarta and Bandung in Java last year.
Jamil was arrested in Riau's Siak district with his truck loaded with sacks of marijuana. He said the contraband had been ordered by a man identified as Ibrahim, who was later also arrested and sentenced to death.
Jamil's arrest last October was not his 1st brush with the law. He was caught smuggling marijuana several years ago but managed to evade the death sentence.
After serving time in prison, he was released and immediately returned to transporting the drug.
The court also sentenced 2 of Jamil's accomplices to life in prison, and another man identified as Muhalil to 20 years in prison.
Jamil told the court that he would not appeal against the death sentence.
The ruling comes a month after Indonesia executed 8 men, 7 of them foreign nationals, for drug-trafficking offenses. Indonesia has so far this year put to death 14 people, 12 of them foreigners, for drug offenses, drawing widespread international condemnation.
President Joko Widodo, in defending the use of the death penalty, claims that Indonesia is in the grip of a "drug emergency," and that the death sentence serves as a deterrent against would-be drug offenders. Experts, though, have repeatedly debunked the figures Joko cites for drug-related deaths.
Source: The Jakarta Globe, May 30, 2015
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