MAY 4, 2005
Posted: May 17, 2005

Darwin Ruslinur, KoridorBudiono Saputro, Koridor

Using antiquated criminal laws dating back to Indonesia’s colonial era, a district court in the city of Lampung on the island of Sumatra found the two journalists guilty of criminal defamation and sentenced them to nine months in prison. Darwin Ruslinur, chief editor of the weekly tabloid Koridor, and Budiono Saputro, the managing editor, are free pending an appeal scheduled in two weeks, local sources told CPJ.

The charges stem from a July 2004 article that, citing an unnamed source, accused a local political candidate of embezzling party funds. Lampung District Court Judge Iskandar Tjake found that the two editors did not check the information with the candidate, according to The Jakarta Post, and therefore found them guilty of criminal defamation.

Indonesia’s criminal defamation laws are a legacy of the Dutch colonial era and were used to suppress local dissent in the early 20th Century.