Thu, 05 Oct 2000

Supreme Court upholds Oki's sentence

JAKARTA (JP): The Supreme Court has upheld the Jakarta High Court's 1997 death sentence for Harnoko Dewantono, alias Oki, for a triple murder in the United States between 1991 and 1992, a court official said on Wednesday.

Oki's lawyer, Henry Yosodiningrat, however, said that he had yet to receive the Supreme Court's decision.

"I personally have not heard about the decision. I'll contact the Central Jakarta District Court tomorrow (Thursday) morning to confirm the matter," Henry told The Jakarta Post.

A Central Jakarta District Court clerk said a copy of the Supreme Court's decision was received on Wednesday.

"The decision was supposed to be sent as soon as possible to the district court. But, we only received a copy of it today," the clerk who requested anonymity said.

He said the Supreme Court hearings were presided over by former Supreme Court Chief Sarwata.

"The written decision, issued on June 29 this year, stated that Oki, 35, was proven guilty beyond a doubt of violating Article 340 of the Criminal Code on premeditated murder. Copies of the decision will be sent to the prosecutor and Oki's lawyer, Henry Yosodiningrat."

The high court's panel of judges, led by Soetarmiati, said that the Central Jakarta district court's verdict was correct. The high court hearing took place in September and October 1997.

The district court sentenced Oki to death on May 13, 1997, after he was found guilty of killing his Indian business partner, Suresh Mirchandani, an Indonesian business partner, Gina Sutan Aswar, and his younger brother, Tri Harto Darmawan, alias Eri, in Los Angeles, California, between 1991 and 1992.

In imposing the death sentence, the district court said that it had reached the decision because of the sadistic nature of the killings.

Earlier, judge I.G.K. Sukarata of the Central Jakarta district court said: "The murders were extremely brutal, and one of the victims was his own brother. He also cunningly accused his brother of killing Suresh, and gave confusing testimony," Sukarata said.

Sukarata said that because the crime was committed overseas it was an embarrassment to Indonesia. (ylt)