Jakarta – The Supreme Court has acquitted former news anchor Dalton Ichiro Tanonaka of all criminal charges, including fraud, following a judicial review previously petitioned by the American journalist.
Court spokesperson Andi Samsan Nganro said the panel of judges had determined that Tanonaka's alleged offenses did not constitute a crime, hence his acquittal.
"Despite the prosecutors' indictment, the defendant did not commit a crime. Therefore, the defendant must be acquitted of all charges," Andi said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
The acquittal has effectively revoked the court's ruling, which would entail a three-year prison term for Tanonaka, he said.
Andi went on to say that the acquittal was in keeping with the Jakarta High Court's ruling, which classified Tanonaka's alleged offenses as a form of negligence, as opposed to crime.
The prominent media figure was arrested on Oct. 7 by an intelligence team from the Attorney General's Office after having eluded authorities for two years.
He was accused of fraud after his news company, PT Melia Media International, which operates The Indonesia Channel, failed to deliver the profits previously promised to an investor named Prem Harjani Ramchand, who had invested $500,000 of the total $1 million into the firm in 2014.
Prior to serving as the cofounder and president director of The Indonesia Channel, Tanonaka was best known to the Indonesian public as an anchor on Metro TV's English-language program, Indonesia Now, from 2006 and 2010. (rfa)