Serang, Banten. Controversial actress Nikita Mirzani praised judges at the Serang District Court as “honest” after she was acquitted of defamation during a hearing in the Banten capital on Thursday.
The panel of judges refused to proceed with the trial and ordered prosecutors to drop all charges after the plaintiff, businessman Dito Mahendra, was again a no-show in the hearing.
Dito reported Nikita to police in May for defamation after she called him a “fraudster” following lengthy personal feuds which became a social media sensation.
The panel presided over by Judge Dedy Adi Saputra has summoned him four times to testify in the hearing since the trial began but Dito failed to honor any of them. Media reports said he was being treated at a hospital in Johor, Malaysia.
“We consider that the case put forward by prosecutors cannot be accepted and accordingly we decide to acquit the defendant, Nikita Mirzani, of all charges," the judge said after Dito failed to show up for the fourth time.
Nikita rejoiced the court decision with great joy after spending two months in prosecutors’ detention during the trial.
“I was locked up at the detention facility not knowing the crime I have committed. It’s so confusing so I just followed the proceedings and today I‘m allowed to go home,” she told reporters.
“I really thank the judges, it turns out we still have honest judges here.”
Nikita was arrested by police when she was visiting a shopping mall in Central Jakarta accompanied by her youngest son in July.
She was released after several hours but on October 25 Serang prosecutors detained her on the grounds that she was “uncooperative” during the investigation and the case was put on trial soon after.
It emerged during her trial that Dito also ignored a summons from the Corruption Eradication Commission to testify in the ongoing investigation into alleged corruption at the Supreme Court.
Nikita, 36, made sure that her trial didn’t go quietly with her post-hearing remarks critical of prosecutors. During a hearing ten days ago, she dropped the microphone and threw documents after prosecutors rejected her plea for release on medical reasons.
The actress, who has featured in several comedy movies, has gained national media attention more because of her marital problems and physical altercations at bars which landed her prison terms of a few months.
She is also known as a strong critic of firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab, the leader of the now-defunct Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) which had thousands of followers.
In various social media posts, Nikita called Rizieq a charlatan and challenged him to take a DNA test to prove the claim that he is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.
Angry FPI supporters threatened to attack her if she didn’t make a public apology in November 2020, prompting police to deploy personnel to secure her house.