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Wedding organizer gets 2.5-year jail sentence for Bromo wildfire

Jakarta Post - February 7, 2024

Jakarta – Kraksaan District Court in Probolinggo, East Java, has sentenced 41-year-old wedding organizer Andrie Wibowo Eka Wardhana to two and a half years in prison and a fine of Rp 3.5 billion (US$223,331) for causing a wildfire on Mount Bromo last year.

In a verdict that was read on Jan. 31, a panel of judges found Andrie guilty of causing a fire that lasted for days on Teletubbies Hill at Mt. Bromo by using a flare for a pre-wedding photoshoot in September 2023. The fire proved difficult to extinguish and spread to many parts of the mountain area.

"We sentence the defendant to two and a half years in prison and to pay a fine of Rp 3.5 billion," said presiding judge I Made Yuliana while delivering the verdict at the courthouse, as quoted by Antara News.

Prosecutors initially demanded that the accused serve three years in prison, and pay Rp 3 billion in fines or face an additional six months' incarceration.

The court gave seven days for the prosecution or the defense to accept or appeal the verdict. Prosecutor I Made Deady Permana Putra said the prosecution respected the court's decision but would still discuss it internally.

"We will think about it first. If there are any other legal remedies, we will appeal. Of course, we will submit [the verdict] to the leader [of the Probolinggo Attorney's Office] first," Deady said.

Separately, defense lawyer Hasmoko said he considered the verdict harsh even though it was lighter than the prosecution's demand. He added that would consider whether to appeal or not.

"Our client had no intention of setting fire to Teletubbies Hill, but we still respect the verdict," said Hasmoko, as quoted by tempo.co.

Hendra, the head of the data evaluation and public relations team of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, said that 989 hectares of land were burned in the September incident, causing Rp 8.3 billion in losses.

Sunaryono, the village head of Ngadisari, which is located near the fire disaster, said local leaders had forgiven the defendant. However, they should still abide by the legal process.

"From the customary point of view, we have forgiven him, and that might have been a consideration for the judges in handing down the sentence," Sunaryono said.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/02/07/wedding-organizer-gets2-5-year-jail-sentence-for-bromo-wildfire.htm