BeritaSatu, Banjarnegara – Prosecutors on Tuesday formally indicted a man for the alleged murder of at least 12 individuals through poisoned drinks in the Central Java regency of Banjarnegara. This case follows investigations that began in April.
The defendant, Slamet Tohari, could face the death penalty if convicted of premeditated murder. In addition to murder charges, he also stands accused of deception, involvement in counterfeit money scams, and embezzlement of money from his victims.
"The indictment references Article 340 of the Criminal Code, which pertains to premeditated murder and carries a maximum punishment of death. The exact sentencing demand will be determined later after cross-examinations during the court hearings," lead prosecutor Nasruddin told reporters after the opening hearing.
Slamet, 45, was accompanied by state-appointed attorneys who opted not to present a preliminary defense in order to expedite the proceedings.
According to the indictment, Slamet allegedly deceived his victims by convincing them that he possessed supernatural powers to multiply money. He used counterfeit banknotes to support his claims and, when confronted by victims demanding their money back, administered potassium cyanide into their drinks, resulting in their deaths.
The most recent victim, identified as Prasetyo, became suspicious and sent a WhatsApp message to his children, instructing them to visit Slamet's house accompanied by the police if he did not return within two days. Prior to his death, Prasetyo also shared his location via the messaging app.
On March 27, Prasetyo was reported missing by his family. The police were alerted and subsequently dispatched to Slamet's residence, where they discovered Prasetyo's fresh grave nearby.
Further investigations uncovered 11 additional bodies buried on a site covering approximately 20 square meters near Slamet's house and in a separate location within the same village.
This case represents the second instance of serial murders involving poisoned drinks uncovered by the police in just two months. In early February, authorities arrested three individuals accused of killing at least nine people in the West Java towns of Cianjur and Bekasi.