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People Afraid to Speak up, Especially about Corruption
Benny Handoko, the defendant of twitter dispute with former Prosperous Justice party (PKS) politician, Muhammad Misbakhun, undergoing a verdict trial at District Court, Jakarta on Wednesday (5/2). TEMPO/Dasril Roszandi
Thursday, 06 February, 2014 | 12:24 WIB
People Afraid to Speak up, Especially about Corruption

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Benny Handoko (Benhan) was sentenced six months of imprisonment and one-year probation over the twitter saga against former member of the House (DPR), Mukhamad Misbakhun. Penal Code expert at Universitas Trisakti, Yenti Ganarsih, stated that the verdict will impact the freedom of expression in Indonesia.

"People are scared to state something, particularly when it comes to corruption," said Yenti. She said in Article 27 verse 3 Law No. 11/2008 on Information and Electronic Transaction, two aspects - mockery and discreditation - need more attention. Such aspects should also be brought before law to prove before calling the verdict.

Yenti then questioned the verdict over Benny, as the media that first posted it has not been declared guilty. Benny's twitter saga began when he tweeted, calling Misbakhun the robber of Bank Century, based on Tempo's investigative report. The tweet caused a bit of a stir between Benny and Misbakhun, with Benny refusing to apologize. Misbakhun then opted legal approach by suing Benny.

BERNADETTE CHRISTINA MUNTHE