Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – Judges at the Simalungun District Court in North Sumatra have sentenced Gernal Luncu Nainggolan to one year in prison after he was found guilty of insulting Prophet Muhammad on Facebook.
The verdict hearing took place on Oct. 8. The sentence was lighter than the initial punishment demanded by prosecutors of 1.5 years' imprisonment.
Presiding judge A. Hadi Nasution said the judges opted for a lighter sentence as Gernal had apologized for his mistakes.
Both the defendant and prosecutors accepted the verdict and decided not to file an appeal.
Simalungun Prosecutor's Office intelligence unit head Ratno Timur Habeahan told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that prosecutors decided to accept the verdict because the sentence still fulfilled two-thirds of the initial sentence demand.
He added the prosecutors were still waiting to receive a copy of the verdict before transferring Gernal to a penitentiary, with the defendant sent to the Pematang Siantar detention center in the meantime.Gernal was found guilty of violating articles 45A and 28 of the 2016 Electronic Information and Transactions Law on inciting hatred on the basis of ethnicity, religion or race. He was reported to the authorities for a Facebook post that allegedly insulted Prophet Muhammad.
He also mentioned controversial cleric Bahar bin Ali bin Smith in another post in May.
Officers from the Simalungun Police arrested Gernal on May 21. He pleaded guilty and apologized for actions upon his arrest. (ami)