Jakarta – Human rights group Amnesty International Indonesia (AII) has praised the Supreme Court's decision to reduce the death sentence for disgraced two-star police general Ferdy Sambo to life in prison, saying that the move was a step in the right direction to abolish capital punishment in the country.
AII executive director Usman Hamid said that although Sambo should be punished to the possible extent of the law, his life should be spared.
"All kinds of crimes committed by state officials and prohibited by international law should get the maximum punishment, but we must maintain the fairness principle without using the death sentence," Usman said in a statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Friday.
Usman said that the Supreme Court's decision to spare Sambo's life was a positive step and that it should be applied to all criminal cases resulting in capital punishment.
"We know that the majority of the public wants a death sentence for Sambo, but we should value his life," he said.
The Supreme Court reduced the death sentence for Sambo to life in prison earlier this week on the grounds that he committed the premeditated murder of his own aide-de-camp Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat along with others.
The court's 3-to-2 decision was read out on Tuesday.
The South Jakarta District Court sentenced Sambo to death in February for the premeditated murder of Nofriansyah and for tampering with evidence while orchestrating a cover-up.
The panel of three judges found Sambo guilty on both counts.