Jakarta – The Central Jakarta District Court sentenced 20-year-old Luthfi Alfiandi, whose photo clutching an Indonesian flag to his face has become an emblem of the student protests against controversial legal amendments, to four months of imprisonment on Thursday.
The bench found Luthfi guilty of violating Article 218 of the Criminal Code for failing to comply with police orders more than three times during a riot following student protests in September last year.
Prosecutors had indicted him of attacking police officers by throwing stones. Despite the guilty verdict, Luthfi will walk free from detention after the hearing, because he had spent the same amount of time in custody.
"We demanded that the judges sentence him to four months in prison, and the bench granted our request. He was released because he had spent four months being detained prior to his trial," prosecutor Andri Saputra said as quoted by kompas.com.
"We have talked with [Luthfi's] lawyers and decided to accept the verdict. Maybe he can be released by this evening after all paperwork is sorted out," the prosecutor went on to say.
Luthfi, one of 1,489 people arrested during the series of student protests, is the first to stand trial. More than 1,000 of those arrested have been released, while 380 are facing charges including spreading false information, hurling rocks at police, possessing bladed weapons, vandalizing police stations and using Molotov cocktails.
During a hearing on Jan. 20, Luthfi told the courtroom that he had been tortured by West Jakarta Police officers to falsely confess to having attacked authorities.
The student took to the street in late September and early October to protest controversial revisions of the Criminal Code and the Corruption Eradication Commission Law, among other pieces of controversial legislation. The protests lasted several days and were mostly attended by senior high school students and young adults. (kuk)