Jakarta Police named 13-year-old Abdul Qadir Jaelani as the sole suspect in September's fatal accident on a Jakarta toll road on Monday in a move that is likely to rile critics who have been calling for charges to be filed against the boy's father, Indonesian rock star Ahmad Dhani.
It was not possible to name Ahmad as a suspect in the crash under Indonesia's current criminal statues, said Adj. Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo, the deputy chief of the Jakarta Police traffic directorate. Observers called for charges to be filed against Ahmad in the wake of the crash, criticizing the rock star's decision to allow his underage son to drive a high-powered sports car. The celebrity's repeated attempts to divert blame by pointing the finger at everyone from the toll road operator to the vehicle's passenger further irked critics.
Despite the criticism, Ahmad will not be charged in connection with the crash, Sambodo said.
"There is no law to enabling a criminal charge against filed against an underage suspect to be diverted to their parents," he said. "A.Q.J. is the sole suspect in the case."
The statement flew in the face of comments made by Justice Minister Amir Syamsudin, who previously said Abdul's parents could be charged with providing their child with a tool that could harm others. Abdul was 13-years-old at the time of the accident, four years below the nation's legal driving age.
Abdul faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison if found guilty of causing a traffic fatality, a violation of Article 310 of Indonesia's Traffic and Road Transport Law. The article typically carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison, but police took the teenager's age into account and halved the sentence, Sambodo said.
"Based on the Law on Child Protection, if the perpetrator is a minor they will only be charged with half of the maximum sentence," he said. "Although, of course, the final decision on how long the sentence should be will depend on the result of the trial. It will be the authority of the judges."
Abdul was reportedly driving his Mitsubishi Lancer at a high rate of speed, somewhere between 176 and 180 kilometers-per-hour, when he lost control, plowing through the Jagorawi Toll Road's center divider and striking two vehicles in a deadly head-on collision. Seven people were killed in the wreck and Abdul was hospitalized for more than a month.
Abdul was first questioned by police on Oct. 21, some six weeks after the accident. It took another three weeks for police to conclude their investigation.