Prosecutors initially demanded a one-and-half-year sentence for Ahmad Dhani for having violated the Law on Electronic Information and Transactions. (Antara Photo/Didik Suhartono)

Rock Star Ahmad Dhani Gets Another 12 Months in Jail for Defamation

BY :TELLY NATHALIA

JUNE 11, 2019

Jakarta. The Surabaya District Court sentenced rock star-turned political activist Dhani Ahmad Prasetyo, better known as Ahmad Dhani, to a year in prison on Tuesday for defaming residents of the East Java city on social media.

"We find the defendant, Ahmad Dhani Prasetyo, guilty of having distributed or transmitted electronic information, which was of an insulting and defamatory nature and which could be accessed by the public…," presiding judge Anton Widyo Priyono said in a live broadcast of the verdict on Kompas TV.

Prosecutors initially demanded a one-and-half-year sentence for Ahmad Dhani for having violated the Law on Electronic Information and Transactions.

The case relates to an incident in November last year, when the singer created an Instagram post under the tagline #2019GantiPresiden (Change the president in 2019), which contained a vlog he had recorded in the lobby of Surabaya's Majapahit Hotel while a crowd was preventing him from attending an opposition rally against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

The former Dewa 19 frontman referred to members of the crowd as "idiots" in the video he apparently recorded to apologize to the organizers for being unable to make it to the event.

Several members of the crowd later reported the singer to police for defamation.

According to the panel of judges, Ahmad Dhani did not consider his position as a public figure and legislative candidate when he made the video, as his status required him to set a good example.

Responding to the court's decision, the singer said he would lodge an appeal in the East Java High Court.

He was also jailed for 18 months in January this year for hate speech.

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