The Executioners Sentenced to Death

DENPASAR

Two construction workers, who played a major role in the slaying of a family of three in Nusa Dua, were sentenced to the death penalty by the Denpasar District Court’s panel of judges in a trial session marred by lawyers’ protests and the victims’ family’s emotional outburst.

Muhammad Kodir and Safa’at gazed silently at the floor of the court room when the panel of judges, comprising Gunawan Tri Budiono, Cening Budiana and Anak Agung Anom Wirakanta, took turns reading out the verdict.

Kodir, Safa’at and Hadi, who is still at large, attacked and killed Made Purnabawa, his wife Ni Luh Ayu Sri Mahayoni, and their 9-year-old daughter Ni Wayan Risna Ayu Dewi on Feb. 13 while the victims were sound asleep in a room in their house at Kampial Residence, Nusa Dua. The homicides shocked the island and angered its people.

The panel of judges declared that they were in favor of the arguments presented by public prosecutors Wayan Widana and I Gusti Nyoman Widana, who charged the defendants with violating Article 340 of the Criminal Code on premeditated murder, and additional indictments of violating Article 338 on murder, Article 339 on homicide accompanied by felonies, and Article 365 on violent break-in resulting in the loss of human life. The prosecutors sought the death penalty in this case.

“We found both defendants guilty of violating all these articles and sentence them to the death penalty,” presiding judge Gunawan Tri Budiono said, before striking the gavel to officially mark the end of the trial.

Immediately, the victims’ family and relatives rose and moved swiftly toward Kodir and Safa’at. Fortunately, several uniformed and plainclothed police officers had anticipated that and firmly secured both men and escorted them out of the courtroom.

At the same time, the convicted murderers’ lawyers rose and indignantly launched a protest to the panel of judges for closing the trial without first addressing Kodir and Safa’at and asking whether they accepted the verdict or would file an appeal.

The judges ignored their protest while the victims’ family was angered by the lawyers’ intention to appeal the verdict. Fortunately, the commotion didn’t turn into a brawl.

Purnabawa’s elder sister, Ni Wayan Ratnawati, praised the verdict and announced that the family and the people of banjar (traditional neighborhood association) Peminge, to which Purnabawa belonged, were very satisfied with the judges’ decision to hand down the death sentence.

“Those four people have no right to live, they must die, an eye for an eye,” she said.

Last Tuesday, the panel of judges at Denpasar District Court had sentenced the masterminds behind the triple homicides to death. Heru Hendriyanto and his wife Putu Anita Sukra Dewi were found guilty of plotting the murder, recruiting others to commit murder, and offering financial payment for a criminal act. Heru was Purnabawa’s former driver while Sukra Dewi was Mahayoni’s cousin and worked as the family’s live-in maid when the murder took place.

Both had confessed that they plotted the murder to avenge, what they claimed to be, improper treatment. They accused Purnabawa and Mahayoni of not paying their wages, prohibiting them from watching TV in the house, banning them from taking food from the fridge and, at one point, Mahayoni shoved Sukra Dewi’s young son after he tried to open the fridge.

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