Wed, 29 Mar 2000

Zarina trial set to go ahead

JAKARTA (JP): The West Jakarta District Court ruled on Tuesday it would continue hearing the drug case against Zarina Mirafsur.

"The indictment prepared by the prosecutor meets all the requirements as stipulated in Paragraph 2, Article 143 of the Criminal Code Procedures, which state that such indictments must be complete and clear," presiding judge Sri Handojo said in a pretrial hearing at the district court.

Handojo said the prosecutor had completed the indictment by citing the identity of the defendant, including her age, job and place of residence.

"The prosecutor also has clearly and completely described the alleged wrongdoing (of the defendant), by citing the time and place where the alleged wrongdoing was committed," the judge said.

The ruling was read by the panel of three judges, including Handojo.

Present at Tuesday's hearing were prosecutor Hasan Madani and two lawyers representing the former actress, Ali Mazi and Petrus Bala Patyona.

Also present were dozens of spectators, including scores of members of the antidrug group Geram.

Five members of Geram, wearing black shirts, sat in the front row of the courtroom, apparently hoping to influence the judges' ruling.

The pretrial hearing follows an earlier hearing in which the original indictment against Zarina was thrown out. A panel of judges at the same district court, presided over by judge Basoeki, dropped the indictment on Feb. 7, ruling that prosecutor Madani had failed to submit a clear and complete document.

The prosecutor refiled the indictment with the district court after making the necessary revisions.

In the new indictment, the prosecutor says Zarina was in possession of and took shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine) on Oct. 1 last year at two houses -- one on Jl. Kemanggisan Utama Raya in West Jakarta and one in Duren Sawit, East Jakarta.

According to the indictment, Zarina and two other people, Jantje Gustaf Mustamu and Dedy Mulyadi, took the drugs at the house in West Jakarta before traveling to the second house. There at the house in East Jakarta, the three met Nazar Aliando and Ahian Santoso, and all five of them used shabu-shabu, which allegedly was brought by Zarina.

Jakarta Police detectives arrested Zarina and Ahian in a hotel apartment in West Jakarta on Nov. 11 during an early morning raid, seizing 0.3 grams of shabu-shabu, tin foil and paraphernalia used to smoke the drug.

Handojo adjourned the hearing until April 11, at which time the court will hear testimony from witnesses.

Upon hearing the ruling, Paskalis Pieter, one of Zarina's lawyers, said they would file an appeal.

Handojo said the court would continue hearing the case while the Jakarta High Court ruled on the appeal. (09/asa)