Wed, 14 Jun 2000

Defendant denies allegations of abusing migrant workers

JAKARTA (JP): A panel of judges at the Central Jakarta District court laughed on Tuesday at the responses of a 49-year- old defendant charged with the physical abuse and sexual molestation of two prospective female migrant workers.

Prosecutor Abdul Kadir Latief told the hearing that Nasir Salim, an Indonesian of Arab descent, sexually molested Yayan Yulianti and physically abused Iis binti Kanda in a drunken stupor on March 11, 2000.

"In his drunkenness, Nasir forcibly ordered Yayan to give him a massage at 10:30 p.m. on March 11, during which he fondled her breasts, buttocks, thighs and genitalia," Latief told the hearing, presided over by judge Hoepojo.

"Later that night, as witnessed by several people, he banged Iis' head at least twice on the floor in rage."

At the time Yayan and Iis were living in a two-story all- female dormitory on Jl. Percetakan Negara X, Central Jakarta, owned by PT Dian Karya Trampil, a labor export firm headed by the defendant's younger sister, Patya.

The victims were waiting to be sent to Saudi Arabia for work.

Latief said the defendant had violated Paragraph 1 of Article 351 of the Criminal Code on physical abuse, which carries a maximum of two years and eight months in prison; and Article 289 of the Criminal Code on sexual molestation, which carries a maximum of nine-years imprisonment.

Judge Hoepojo then asked the defendant if he had fondled Yayan's breasts.

Nasir immediately replied: "In the name of Allah and my seven generations to come, I never touched her breasts.

"Saya orang alim pak. Saya suka sholat" (I am a devout man, sir. I often perform my prayers.)

At this, the panel of judges laughed for some time, and repeatedly asking the defendant if they had heard him right and that he had used the word "alim" (devout).

Hoepojo then asked the defendant whether he had any business upon entering the dormitory.

Nasir said he had been assigned to handle administrative duties at his sister's firm.

The judge then called on the defendant's sister, Patya, and told her to confirm what her brother had just said.

"He had no business entering the dormitory. He is not in charge of anything," Patya told the court.

Following Patya's testimony, prosecutor Latief asked the defendant whether he was telling the truth and that he was in charge of administrative tasks, including on the day of the incident.

The defendant remained silent. Latief then asked him what kind of work he was doing at 10:30 p.m. in the dormitory.

Again, Nasir remained silent.

Earlier in the hearing, Latief said that Yayan had asked the defendant's permission to pray to stop her molestation. The defendant agreed to her request but told her to return afterwards.

"When Yayan did not return, the defendant went up to the second floor and started asking for another girl, while verbally abusing, kicking and pulling Iis' hair, who was sleeping on the second floor," Latief told the court.

He said that the Iis tried to run down the stairs to escape, but fell over and started to bleed from her mouth.

"Instead of helping the wounded girl, the defendant, in front of several eyewitnesses, banged Iis' head on the floor at least twice, while screaming for her to get up. Iis immediately started bleeding from her head and fainted." (ylt)