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Indonesia: Death penalty sought for drug defendants

Prosecutors at the Semarang District Court in Central Java have demanded the death penalty for 5 defendants in a major drug-smuggling case, including Pakistani citizens Muhammad Riaz and Faiq Akhtar and US national Kamran Malik, aka Philip Russel.

The 3 have been indicted for trafficking 97 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine to Jepara, Central Java, through Tanjung Emas Port in the provincial capital of Semarang.

According to prosecutors, Riaz arranged the drug shipment from Guangzhou, China, to Indonesia and then stored it in the CV Jepara Raya International furniture warehouse in Pekalongan village, Jepara regency.

Prosecutors claim Riaz arranged the documents to smuggle the narcotics into Indonesia.

The defendant was charged under the 2009 Narcotics Law.

Faiq was also involved in the attempt to smuggle the drugs into Indonesia, and had also been indicted under the same law, prosecutor Edi Budianto said.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, demanded that the court sentence another defendant Restiyadi Sayoko, accused of having facilitated the drug trafficking, to life imprisonment.

The plea session will be held on Nov. 8 and the court will hand down its verdict on Nov. 14.

On Wednesday, the court also heard the death penalty being demanded for 2 Indonesians for their role in the smuggling of the 97 kg of crystal meth through Tanjung Emas Port.

They were Citra Agung Kurniawan and Tommy Pratomo, employees of PT Jacobson Global Logistics Indonesia who helped take care of the import documents for Zhouma brand generators from China.

Prosecutor Diajeng Kusumaningrum also sought an 18-year sentence for another defendant Peni Suprapti.

Peni, who is Indonesian, is the wife of Riaz. Peni was charged with helping to store the drugs in the furniture warehouse in Jepara.

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) busted the drug trafficking ring on Jan. 27.

The Pakistani group stashed the crystal meth inside 194 power generators after dismantling their pistons. The crystal meth was dispatched from Guangzhou, China, and smuggled through Tanjung Emas.

Didi Triono, meanwhile, a local resident, leased the warehouse, which was disguised as a furniture factory. Prosecutors sought 18 years in prison for Didi.

In the trial hearing, prosecutor Bondan Subrata said Citra was contacted by Riaz to arrange the importation of the generators.

"Defendant Citra assisted in the arrangement of import documents for the generators, which contained the drugs. He also set a tariff of Rp 190 million [about US$14,630] for the service," said Bondan.

Prosecutors also demanded a fine of Rp 1 billion for Citra.

Indonesia has fallen under international scrutiny in recent years for its use of the death penalty.

Despite repeated calls from human rights activists, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has insisted that drug convicts should be executed, saying that drug misuse claims the lives of thousands of Indonesians every year.

Source: The Jakarta Post, November 4, 2016

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