Sat, 13 May 2000

Zarina remains tightlipped over her pregnancy

JAKARTA (JP): Very much affected by televised gossip of Zarina Mirafsur's pregnancy, dozens of print and television journalists thronged the West Jakarta District Court on Friday to search for the truth and check out the former actress' physical appearance.

Zarina, a defendant in a drug case at the court, has once again surprisingly drawn the public's interest as local television stations repeatedly aired rumors about her pregnancy.

Some enthusiastic journalists, due to limited access regarding the court's schedule, had been waiting around since early that morning, although the hearing was slated for 1 p.m.

Enthusiasm blossomed following a press conference at the Tangerang Women and Children Penitentiary on Thursday, when head of the Jakarta office of the Ministry of Law and Legislation Iman Santosa disclosed that the defendant was seven months pregnant.

But, the journalist's hopes of getting direct answers from Zarina about her pregnancy quickly evaporated as the defendant chose to keep her mouth shut during her day in court.

Zarina, who arrived at the courtroom in long black sleeves, looked fatter than at her previous court hearings.

The agenda of Friday's court session was hearing the testimony of the former television actress.

The case was about her and her accomplice Ahian Santosa's arrest at a room in a West Jakarta hotel last November. The city police seized 0.3 grams shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine), tin foil and paraphernalia used to smoke the drug.

Besides accusing the defendant of possessing the shabu-shabu, the prosecutor also indicted the defendant for her failure to inform the police about a drug party allegedly held by a number of her acquaintances at a house located in Duren Sawit, East Jakarta, on Oct. 1 last year.

Zarina stunned Friday's hearing with the statement regarding her marital status.

"I'm already married, your Honor. But, I haven't had a child yet," she told the packed courtroom in response to presiding judge Sri Handojo's question.

The judge, however, didn't ask up follow-up questions regarding Zarina's marital status.

After the hearing, the journalists fell upon the 26-year-old defendant, who rose from where she was sitting to make a few comments.

Yet, she remained tightlipped when asked about her pregnancy until she reached the official Tangerang penitentiary's car, although she was "forced" to speak by throngs of journalists, who pushed at each other to get close enough to interview her.

Asked about her remarks that she was already married, Ali Mazi, one of Zarina's lawyers, said the statement indeed surprised the lawyers.

"She never told us about that. She might be depressed about the hearing," Ali said.

"She refused to speak when we asked whether she was pregnant. She also kept silent when we asked who the baby's father was," the lawyer said.

Similarly, Zarina's mother Mardiyah said she had no idea that her daughter was pregnant.

"Zarina has a lot of friends because of her easy-going attitude. I knew about her pregnancy only from television, since she had never told me that she was pregnant," Mardiyah told reporters at the district court.

Zarina, who is currently serving a four-year jail term at the Tangerang Women's Penitentiary, is under the supervision of a gynecologist named Devi.

Zarina repeatedly made headlines in 1996 after she managed to escape from police custody over another drug case. She was arrested in Houston in November 1996. (41/asa/edt)