Sat, 11 Sep 1999

Witnesses testify peers killed student in brawl

JAKARTA (JP): Two students testified before the Central Jakarta District Court on Friday that fellow students from SMU 24 High School fatally stabbed and stoned a student from another high school.

"The two witnesses testified that they saw the killing of the SMU 7 student during the brawl last June," prosecutor Nurfah S.Y. said after the trial, which was closed to the public.

"They admitted that they were involved in the brawl, but later managed to escape from police arrest.

"However, they denied involvement in the killing."

Seven of the South Jakarta high school's students -- Tanuri, Richmansyah, Talon, M. Riefansyah, Andi Riswandi, Suryadin and Zefri Samsudin -- were indicted by Nurfah in a trial last week for killing Alfi Syahril, whose school is located in Bendungan Hilir subdistrict, Central Jakarta.

Alfi died in an after-school brawl on Jl. Sudirman, Central Jakarta, on June 30.

Nurfah said the seven students were indicted under Article 170 of the Criminal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in jail.

She said the seven students attacked the victim with machetes, knives and stones.

An autopsy said Alfi suffered a severe injury to the back of his head which caused massive brain damage.

Presiding judge Endang Sumarsih has declared the trial closed to the public because the students are minors.

Endang told The Jakarta Post after Friday's trial that the court would likely impose a jail term on the defendants if they were convicted.

"If the victim had not died, we might have considered remanding them in their parents' custody or sending them to a juvenile detention center in Tangerang," she said.

Parents of Alfi and the defendants joined students from both schools at the courthouse on Friday despite the judge's ruling to bar them from the courtroom.

Alfi's mother, Rahmalina, 38, said that she expected the judge to uphold the law and sentence them according to their crime.

"Although they are still students, the judge should sentence them in accordance with the law," she said.

Rahmalina said she was continually reminded of Alfi. "Whenever I see teenagers in high school uniforms, I always remember him."

Alfi's father Abu Somad, 43, said religious instruction was important to stop students resorting to violence.

"We should teach good behavior and conduct to students through religion," he said.

Endang adjourned the trial until next Friday when other witnesses will testify. (asa)