Asyani, 63, maintains that she is innocent. (Antara Photo/Seno)

Grandmother Jailed for Stealing Wood in East Java

APRIL 23, 2015

Jakarta. A court in East Java’s Situbondo district on Thursday sentenced a 63-year-old woman to 15 months in prison for stealing timber from a teak plantation owned by state-owned logging company Perhutani.

“Based on the evidence presented during the trial, we decide that the defendant Asyani has violated the 2013 Forest Destruction Law,” Judge Kadek Dedy Arcana said on Thursday as quoted by Kompas.com.

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The panel of judges also ordered Asyani to pay a Rp 500 million ($38,000) fine. It is not clear what the court will do if she fails to pay the fine.

Asyani, who lives in Secangan village in Situbondo’s Jatibanteng subdistrict, has denied the charges and says the timber came from her husband’s own teak trees that he cut down five years ago.

After the hearing, Asyani shouted at the judges, accusing them of injustice.

“I am innocent,” she said.

Supriyono, Asyani’s lawyer, said he would file an appeal against the verdict, as well as report the judges and prosecutors to the Judicial Commission, the government watchdog for courts, for what he called a miscarriage of justice.

Asyani’s case has gripped the nation as yet another instance of a poor person being subjected to excessive punishment under Indonesia’s sketchy legal system.

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