Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – A panel of judges at the Medan District Court in North Sumatra has handed down a three-year imprisonment for a 44-year-old man after finding him guilty of blasphemy for having desecrated the Quran at a mosque earlier this year.
"[We] sentence defendant Doni Irawan Malay to three years in prison," presiding judge Tengku Oyong said while reading out the verdict on Tuesday.
The punishment was one year lighter than the prosecutor's demand, as the court said the defendant had behaved politely during the trial.
Doni was charged under Article 156 of the Criminal Code on religious defamation. Both the defendant and prosecutor Nur Ainun accepted the verdict.
In the previous hearings, prosecutors said Doni had committed a blasphemous act by tearing out pages from the Quran he took from Al-Mashum Mosque in Medan Kota district on Feb. 13.
"The defendant removed the cover from the Quran, threw it into a garbage bin inside the ablution room and then proceeded to tear out pages from the Quran with both of his hands."
They said Doni then exited the mosque and threw the ripped Quran pages onto the streets before running away. He was later caught by locals and reported to Medan Kota Police.
In 2018, the Medan District Court had also sentenced police officer Brig. Tommy Daniel Patar Hutabarat to 16 months in prison for shredding and dumping copies of the Quran into the gutter. He, too, was found guilty of blasphemy and charged under Article 156 of the Criminal Code. (vny)