Thu, 10 Jul 2003


Former official gets 8 months for drugs

BANJARMASIN, South Kalimantan: A district court here sentenced a former subdistrict head on Wednesday to eight mounts in jail and fined him Rp 2 million for his involvement in a drug case.

Usamah, 47, the former Upau subdistrict head in Tabalong regency, was proven guilty of illegally possessing, storing or carrying shabu-shabu (crystal metamphetamine), presiding judge Mohammad Djuhani told the court.

Prosecutors had demanded that the defendant be jailed for one year and fined Rp 3 million.

The panel of judges at Banjarmasin District Court said Usamah would have to serve his sentence under house arrest, as he suffered from heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The court said the defendant's crime offended the people and as a former state official, he had undermined the government's efforts to fight illegal drugs.

Hearing his sentence, Usamah, who was accompanied by his lawyer, said he was considering whether to appeal the verdict. -- Antara

Gun maker arrested in Bojonegoro

BOJONEGORO, East Java: Police here said on Wednesday they had arrested Suwarto, 45, for allegedly making firearms to sell.

The suspect, a resident of Meduri village in Bojonegoro regency, East Java, was arrested on Tuesday night after police questioned one of his buyers, local police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Coki Manurung said.

He said the arrest of the buyer, identified as Sukimin, a resident of Blimbinggede village, Ngraho subdistrict, was made following a tipoff from local community members.

"After gathering the information, police detectives later raided the home of Sukimin, where they discovered a gun and three bullets," Coki added.

He said Sukimin confessed to buying the homemade gun from Suwarto.

During a raid on Suwarto's home, Coki said, the police found a firearm and several bullets, as well as other material evidence.

However, it was unclear whether the case was linked to increasing crime in the regency and neighboring areas. -- Antara

;JP;NFK; ANPAa..r..


Official escapes bogus journalists

MAGETAN, East Java: The public relations head for Magetan regency, East Java, has had to desert his office and go into hiding to avoid the bogus journalists demanding money ahead of the regental election.

For the last few days Venly Tomi Nicolas has been besieged by bogus journalists, who are looking to get some money ahead of Thursday's election of the Magetan regent.

The incumbent regent, Sunarto, is among those contesting the election.

The real journalists who cover the local administration said they understood why Nicolas went into hiding.

As of Wednesday, there was still no word on where Nicolas was or when he would return to work. --Antara