» 02/24/2011, 00.00
Bekasi, assault on a Protestant church: mild sentences for Islamic leaders
The head of the Islamic Defenders Front, the main defendant, received a sentence of 5 months and 15 days. Six and seven months in jail for two other accomplices. In the attack, which occurred last September, a Protestant pastor was seriously injured. The Christian community’s lawyer assesses the appeal.
Jakarta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "I am very worried. The verdict hurts the victims and their families”, this is the opinion of Saor Siagian, the legal representative of the members of the Hkbp church, on the ruling handed down today by a court in Bekasi, West Java. The court sentenced three months in prison a few of the 11 defendants on trial for the assault on the Protestant church in September, during which pastor Afian Sihombing was seriously injured.
The District Court of Bekasi, West Java regency, today condemned the three members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), responsible for the attack on the Hkbp Christian community which occurred September 12, 2010. The group stabbed Afian Sihombing in the stomach. In the attack - caused by disputes over the construction of a church - Luspida Simanjutak was also injured, who was with the pastor leading the Huria Batak Kristen Protestant: the woman suffered cuts to the face, head and back.
The courts has ruled five months and 15 days in jail for Murhali Barda (pictured), head of the FPI Bekasi, on charges of " unbecoming conduct ". He will be released on 27 February, because he has already served the terms of the sentence. Adji Ahmad Faisal and Ade Firman, however, respectively received seven six months in prison, as perpetrators of the attack. The prosecutor asked for sentences ranging from six to 10 months. Mild sentences for eight other defendants, while two minors were released into the custody of their parents.
Saor Siagian, a lawyer of the Christian community is disappointed by the sentence, which he considers too leniant. The verdict, he explains to Kompass.com offends "the victims and their families." The main defendant, he adds, has received only "five months and 15 days in jail” and a similar ruling does not serve as a" deterrent "to prevent new attacks. He has not ruled out an appeal.
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