Tue, 19 Dec 2000

Mamiek on probation over loss of gun

JAKARTA (JP): The daughter of former president Soeharto, Siti Hutami Endang Adiningsih, was handed a 30-day probation period for failing to report the loss of her gun.

"If, for the next thirty days from today, the defendant commits any crime, she'll get 10 days in jail," judge Asep Iwan Irawan told the Central Jakarta District Court on Monday.

Asep declared Hutami, popularly known as Mamiek, guilty of violating Article 7 and Article 33 of the Ordonnantie (Regulation) on firearms, dated March 19, 1937.

The Articles carry a maximum sentence of three months in jail or a fine of Rp 7,500 (about U.S. 70 cents).

The defendant was accompanied by her lawyers, Juan Felix Tampubolon and Wimboyono, during the hearing, which also heard the testimonies of four witnesses, including police officers and Mamiek's servant Abdul Azis.

After the one-hour trial, Asep said regardless of who the defendant is, an owner of a firearm must immediately report its loss.

"Why do you think firearms, most of them untraceable, fall into the hands of robbers and murderers? It's because gun owners lease their guns to criminals, or owners fail to report their loss, and subsequently they end up in the wrong hands," Asep said.

He said Mamiek's reason for the delay in reporting the loss of her gun, a .22 millimeter Colt caliber, was that she was taking care of her father.

Soeharto had failed to attend the three court sessions of his $571 million dollar graft case due to ill health, a reason which the South Jakarta District Court used to dismiss the case last September.

"Mamiek was supposed to extend her gun permit on April 1, but she only got around to it on Oct. 23, and it was then that she realized the gun was missing. That is just careless (behavior)," Asep said.

A clerk at the district court requesting anonymity said that normally judges would fine defendants Rp 7,500.

"I guess this judge wants to show all gun owners that they must be responsible and extra careful possessing something as dangerous as a firearm," he said.

The public recently lauded Asep, considered a tough judge who formerly served at the Tangerang District Court, for handing down death sentences to three convicted drug dealers, two of whom were women, on Aug. 22.

The trio were part of an international drug smuggling ring and were attempting to smuggle cocaine out of the country in January. (ylt)