Thu, 13 Apr 2000

Zarina's accomplice gets jail term

JAKARTA (JP): The West Jakarta District Court sentenced on Wednesday Ahian Santoso, alias Yeye, an acquaintance of drug suspect Zarina Mirafsur, to two years and six months in jail for possession of psychotropic substances.

The court also ordered Ahian, who was arrested along with Zarina during an early morning raid in November last year, to pay a fine of Rp 6 million (US$810).

"The defendant is guilty of violating Article 62 of Law No. 5/1997 on psychotropic substances," presiding judge Sri Handojo said during the hearing at the district court.

The sentence was stiffer than that sought by prosecutor Hasan Madani, who had asked the judges to sentence the defendant to two years in jail and order him to pay a Rp 5 million fine.

Madani is also leading the prosecution of Zarina in a separate trial at the same district court, and cited the same article in his indictment of the former television actress.

Article 62 of the 1997 law on psychotropic substances carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a maximum fine of Rp 20 million ($2,700).

Scores of spectators, including the defendant's wife, Dewi, attended the one-hour hearing, which began at 12:40 p.m.

Jakarta Police detectives arrested Ahian and Zarina in a room in a hotel-apartment in West Jakarta last November.

The police seized from the apartment 0.3 grams of shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine), tinfoil and other paraphernalia used to inhale the drug.

Judge Sri Handojo said city police also discovered four Happy Five tranquilizers in Ahian's wallet.

Besides charging the defendant with possession of shabu-shabu, the prosecutor also charged the defendant for failing to inform police about a drug party allegedly held by Zarina and a number of her acquaintances at a house located in Duren Sawit, East Jakarta, on Oct. 1 last year.

According to the indictment, Zarina, Jantje Gustaf Mustamu and Budiman Pudjianto used shabu-shabu in a house belonging to a man identified as Ando. The incident was allegedly witnessed by the defendant.

The indictment said the defendant's failure to inform police about the drug party violated Article 65 of the 1997 law on psychotropic substances, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

However, in Wednesday's hearing judge Sri Handojo dropped this second charge against Ahian.

"There was no available evidence to prove the defendant was wrong in his failure to inform police (about the incident)," said the judge.

The defendant's lawyer, Togap Marpaung, said his client was considering filing an appeal.

After the hearing, Dewi expressed her regret with the verdict. "We want justice. My husband is only a victim of a police plot."

Ahian refused to answer questions from journalists following the hearing. (asa)