Kanjuruhan defendant acquitted, victims’ families dismayed

(Source: Special)

Jakarta, IO – The Surabaya District Court acquitted Bambang Sidik Achmadi, one of the defendants in the Kanjuruhan stadium stampeded that killed 132 on October 1, 2022, reported CNN Indonesia, Friday (17/3).

Bambang was the head of Malang Police patrol unit. He was accused of giving the order to shoot tear gas into crowd of supporters at the stands.

In the legal consideration, Chief Judge Abu Achmad Sidqi Amsya said the tear gas was only fired the middle of the field. The smoke then drifted towards the edge of the field. But before reaching the stands, the smoke had dissipated, blown by the wind.

Susiani (38), mother of one of the victims, wept upon hearing the decision. “Unjust, unfair!” said Susiani. The acquittal also sparked a protest by students in Malang. More than 200 students from the Malang Student Executive Board (BEM) held a demonstration outside Malang City Hall, Thursday (16/3).

“The 135 lives lost seem meaningless,” one of them screamed.

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So far, the court has handed down sentences against three of the six defendants. Other than Bambang, the ex-Malang Police head of operations Wahyu Setyo Pranoto was also acquitted while East Java Regional Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Company 1 commander Hasdarmawan was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison. (un)