Prosecutors demanded Friday that two police officers – Chief Brigadier Ronny Bugis and Brigadier Rahmat Kadir – be given one-year prison terms for their involvement in a 2017 attack on senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan.
The acid attack, which took place as Baswedan was walking home after Friday prayers, is widely believed to be related to an investigation which Baswedan and the KPK were conducting into dozens of senior politicians involved in the e-KTP electronic ID card corruption scandal.
Under mounting public pressure, in December 2018 the government formed a Joint Fact Finding Team (TGPF) to investigate the case involving the KPK, experts and senior police officials – despite the fact that on several occasions Baswedan has said that he suspects a senior “police general” was the behind the attack – and the very reason many believe police have made no progress in the case.
When the TGPF finally did announced its findings, other than reaffirming that the attack was related to the e-KTP case Baswedan was working on, it failed to identify the perpetrator and added little to what was already publically known about the case.
In December 2019 Bugis and Kadir – neither of which had been mentioned previously during the investigating – surrendered to police and confessed to be the ones who attacked Baswedan.
Reflecting the widespread public disappointment and bewilderment at the one-year prison sentence demanded for the pair, social media users posted a number of sarcastic videos and memes.
Poking fun at the prosecution’s insistence that the defendants had “accidentally” thrown sulfuric acid in Novel’s face – claiming that they had initially aimed for his torso – Twitter user @davadntrt posted an illustration of a cartoon character lying awake in their bed, while ruminating on the possibility of someone accidentally spilling acid on another person’s face.
“How could someone ACCIDENTALLY throw acid on another person’s face?” the character said in a thought bubble.