Fri, 03 Dec 1999

Taxi driver jailed for robbing passenger

JAKARTA (JP): A district court judge sentenced on Thursday a taxi driver to 14 months in jail for a robbery which occurred in September.

"Defendant Yakub Harahap is guilty of violating article 365 of the Criminal Code," presiding judge Hupojo said in a hearing at the Central Jakarta District Court.

At a previous hearing, prosecutor Nurfah demanded the court sentence the defendant to 19 months in prison.

Hupojo said the 41-year-old defendant was driving his taxi along Jl. Mangga Dua in West Jakarta on the evening of Sept. 4, when the victim, identified as Dewi, hailed the taxi.

"Dewi got into the taxi and requested the defendant drive her to the Sunter area in North Jakarta," he said.

The judge said the defendant started out on the route, but hundreds of meters away from the pick up point, the defendant pulled over in a quiet place, where another person was waiting for the taxi.

"Reddy, the defendant's accomplice, then quickly got into the taxi and pointed a knife at Dewi," said Hupojo, adding that Reddy threatened the victim to keep quiet.

The judge said Reddy forced her to hand over all her valuables.

"The defendant then fled the crime scene, along with Dewi and Reddy."

Hupojo said Reddy took a Concord wrist-watch, a Nokia cellular phone and a wallet containing Rp 250,000 (US$32) from the victim.

The judge said the defendant drove his taxi to Pasar Baru in Central Jakarta, but when the taxi became caught in a traffic jam at the Dr. Wahidin crossroad, the victim screamed for help.

Hupojo said the victim succeeded in attracting the public's attention, who subsequently apprehended the defendant.

"The defendant was arrested and brought to the nearby Taman Sari Police subprecinct, but Reddy managed to escape from the scene," said Hupojo. Reddy is still at large.

After the judge banged the gavel, the defendant abruptly approached prosecutor Nurfah.

"I will turn out to be badder after I complete my jail term," he told Nurfah, who appeared frightened by the defendant's unexpected approach.

A security officer at the court, Parjiman, quickly prevented the well-built defendant from harming Nurfah and escorted him from the court room. (asa)