Judge: We sentence you to 12 years in prison and a fine.
Defendant: But I didn’t mean to do it.
Judge: Yeah okay then, one year in prison.
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 and the absurd defense that the attack was committed “by mistake”, social media users posted a number of sarcastic videos and memes.
User @trimuktiwijaya took up the issue in a comic strip featuring Nickelodeon’s popular cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants. In the comic, Spongebob defends himself from a court verdict by claiming that he had only accidentally committed the offenses. The judge listens and decides to reduce the punishment to just one year in prison.
“I tweeted this by accident,” @trimuktiwijaya wrote in the caption.