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Trials kick off for hundreds of alleged May 22 rioters

Jakarta Post - August 20, 2019

Jakarta – At least 172 people allegedly involved during postelection protests that descended into riots in the capital in May have faced a series of trials at the Central Jakarta District Court in the past week.

The majority of defendants were accused of attacking security personnel with stones, firecrackers and Molotov cocktails during the riots that broke out from May 21 to 23 in Jakarta, tempo.co reported.

Andri Bibir, who became the talk of the town after a video purportedly showing police brutality went viral on social media, was also scheduled to undergo a hearing at the court on Tuesday, during which a panel of judges would read out its verdict against Andri.

The police previously claimed that local gangsters, including Andri, had supplied stones for the protesters near the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) headquarters on May 22.

In the early morning of May 23, scores of police officers struck their hangout in a nearby parking lot to make arrests.

The officers, however, reportedly used excessive measures to handle the alleged rioters as the video – which made the rounds on social media – showed police personnel beating an unarmed man with sticks.

In addition to the alleged rioters, 29 employees at shopping center Sarinah, which is located across the Bawaslu building, also faced trial last week.

"[The defendants] intentionally provided help to rioters by providing them with helpful information to commit their crimes," prosecutor Yerich Mohda said at the court last Tuesday.

At least eight people, mostly young, died in the rioting, while some 700 others had been injured and received medical treatment at hospitals around the riot sites. (vny)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/08/20/trials-kick-off-for-hundreds-of-alleged-may-22-rioters.html