Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Eleven in Abepura incident jailed for 5-6 years

The Jayapura District Court on Monday sentenced 11 protesters involved in a deadly 16 March clash with police in Abepura to jail terms of between five and six years. The men were charged with a series of offenses during the violence in front of the Cenderawasih University campus, including disobeying a police officer's order to disperse and violent offenses. Five people were mobbed to death in the clash, including four policemen and one member of the Air Force. Another group of men is on trial for the murders.

The heaviest sentence was given to Nelson Rumbiak, who was jailed for six years, two more than the four years demanded by prosecutors. The panel of judges ruled Nelson was guilty of violating the Criminal Code when he took a tear gas canister belonging to Daud Soleman, a police officer. Soleman died in the incident. Other defendants -- Patrisius Aronggear, Thomas Ukagol, Penius Waker, Othen Dapyal, Elkana Lokobal, Mon Obadja Pawika, Bensuir Mirin and Musa Asso -- were each sentenced to five years jail for similar offenses.

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