Jakarta – Prosecutors are seeking a three-year prison sentence for musician I Gede Ari Astina, who goes by the stage name Jerinx, who is on trial at the Denpasar District Court in Bali for defamation against the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI).
"[We demand] defendant I Gede Ary Astina, alias Jerinx, to be sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of Rp 10 million [US$685] in lieu of three months in prison," prosecutor Otong Hendra Rahayu said on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com.
He added that the defendant had caused public unrest and hurt the feelings of doctors across the country on the frontlines of the coronavirus health emergency.
Prosecutors have charged Jerinx, the drummer of the Bali-based punk rock band Superman Is Dead, with violating articles 28 and 45 of the 2016 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, as well as violating Article 64 of the Criminal Code.
The prosecution had determined the punishment based on the fact that Jerinx had not admitted his actions and had also walked out during his trial, Otong said, and that prosecutors could have asked for a lighter sentence if Jerinx had admitted his actions.
The case started on June 16, when the IDI's Bali branch reported Jerinx to the police after the musician accused the association of being "flunkeys" of the World Health Organization in an Instagram post.
"Because they're proud of being the WHO's flunkeys, the IDI and hospitals arbitrarily mandated that anyone who is about to give birth be tested for COVID-19," Jerinx posted on June 13 to his Instagram account, @jrxsid. "There is so much evidence that the test results are inaccurate, so why force it? If the test causes stress or death for the baby or mother, who will take responsibility?"
Even before the Instagram post in June, Jerinx had repeatedly voiced his distrust of health and medical experts, particularly the IDI and the WHO, and had endorsed a variety of COVID-19 conspiracy theories. (syk)