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Indonesia: Drug kingpin Freddy Budiman files case review to overturn death sentence

Police boats patrol the strait between Cilacap and Nusakambangan Island
Police boats patrol the strait between Cilacap and Nusakambangan Island
Amid the government's preparations for the next round of executions, convicted drug kingpin Freddy Budiman has filed a case review to overturn his death sentence.

On Wednesday, he and his team of lawyers attended a hearing for the case review at the Cilacap District Court in Central Java, amid reports he is one of the death-row convicts soon to be executed on Nusakambangan Island.

His lawyer Untung Sunaryo told the panel of judges, presided over by Catur Prasetyo, that his client should not have been sentenced to death because none of Freddy's accomplices, who were involved in the smuggling of 1.4 million ecstasy pills from China in 2011, was given the death penalty.

"Why was Freddy Budiman then sentenced to death while the others were not? This is the substance of the objection we've raised in this case review hearing. We demand our client not be put to death," said Untung at Cilacap District Court.

Freddy's case review hearing was tightly secured by around 150 police personnel from the Cilacap Regency Police. Police escorted Freddy from the ferry crossing from Nusakambangan Island to the Cilacap District Court, a distance of around 4 kilometers. Freddy wore a long white robe with black cap.

"We hope the Supreme Court will hear our case for a review as far as possible because the judges stated our client's offense was the same as his accomplices during a previous appeal hearing," said Untung.

The central government has remained silent on the upcoming executions despite apparent preparations on the island, in a move many see as trying to avoid animosity among the international community.

Central Java Police revealed that 10 foreign nationals and five Indonesians were already on the list, but the Attorney General's Office (AGO) has denied this, with Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo saying that his office had yet to decide when and who would be included in the next batch of executions.

Freddy has avoided execution at least twice as his lawyer team had kept postponing a plan to file for a case review.

Prasetyo said he expected Freddy would be included in the next round of executions, but he was still waiting for the convict to decide on whether to exercise his legal right to challenge the death sentence.

The hearing at Cilacap court was heard by 3 local judges--Catur and Vilia Sari and Cokia Ana Pontia, while the prosecutors were from the West Jakarta Prosecutor's Office.

The case review appeal was read by Freddy's legal advisors. The hearing commenced at around 10:30 a.m. local time and ended at 12 p.m..

Freddy's case review should have been heard in early May at the West Jakarta District Court. However, as Freddy had been transferred to Nusakambangan, his legal team requested the case review hearing be held in Cilacap and this was granted.

"As he's been transferred to the Pasir Putih prison, Freddy's legal team proposed the hearing be moved and it was finally approved to be held at the Cilacap District Court," West Jakarta prosecutor Reda Manthovani told journalists.

He said that although the hearing was at the Cilacap District Court, prosecutors convened the session from the West Jakarta Prosecutor's Office.

Freddy was arrested on April 28, 2011, by the Jakarta Police's narcotics division for smuggling 1.4 million ecstasy pills from China. Freddy was sentenced to death by the West Jakarta District Court five months after his arrest.

From November 2012 until July 2013, he was confined at the Cipinang Narcotics Prison in East Jakarta. Although he was sentenced to death, Freddy did not give up drug dealing, as he carried on his activities from within his prison cell, he was therefore transferred to Batu Prison on Nusakambangan in July 2013. However, he allegedly still deals drugs in Nusakambangan.

Source: The Jakarta Post, May 26, 2016

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