Fri, 26 Aug 1994

Ria's case won't be dropped: Prosecutor

JAKARTA (JP): The Jakarta's Prosecutor Office has said that it will not drop the case against starlet Ria Irawan who allegedly hampered police investigations after the death of a married man at her house last January.

"We are still working out the dossier and will submit it to the court as soon as we have finished it," said Mamphe Siahaan, a spokesperson for the office, yesterday.

Rifardi, 22, the victim, died at Ria's house on Jl. Lebak Lestari, Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta, on Jan. 12.

According to a doctor from the Health Unit of the City Police, Rifardi's death was caused by cyclobarbital which is a sleeping tablet derived from barbiturates and is used as a hypnotic and sedative drug which has a modified structure that influences the power and rapidity of the drug's effects.

Siahaan said that his office still has to question several witnesses due to the fact that the police findings were not strong enough to bring the 24-year-old artist to court.

"We have to question the witnesses so as to complete the dossier," Siahaan said. He refused to say how many witnesses had been questioned and when the questioning will be finished.

Ria Irawan is charged with obstructing the police investigation into Rifardi's death, failure to report his possession and use of illegal drugs, tampering with and disposing of material evidence initially found near his body and destroying material evidence which was believed to have caused the death of the man.

She faces 10 years imprisonment and a Rp 20 million (US$9,208) fine if proven guilty by court.

Ria's lawyer, Hotma Sitompul, told The Jakarta Post, on Tuesday he is convinced that the case will not reach court due to lack of circumstantial evidence.

"Given the fact that the police and the prosecutor have worked on the dossier for such a long time and still cannot find enough evidence against my client, I ardently believe the case will be dropped," Sitompul said.

"It's for the sake of justice that the prosecutor should free my client from this situation," Sitompul added.

He said that the public should also be told that not all investigations will end in court. (03/yns)