Two Indonesians who escaped Malaysian death penalty return to families

Two Indonesians who escaped Malaysian death penalty return to families

Foreign Affairs Ministry's Director of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Protection Lalu Muhammad Iqbal (1st left) witnesses Siti Nurhidayah (2nd left) reunite with her family in Jakarta on Thursday, Jan 17, 2019. Siti Nurhidayah is one of two Indonesian citizens who escaped death penalty in Malaysia after released from all charges on November 15, 2018. (Directorate of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Protection)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Foreign Affairs Ministry has returned Siti Nurhidayah and Mattari, two Indonesians, who escaped death penalty in Malaysia, to their families.

The ministry`s Director for Indonesian Citizens Protection Lalu Muhammad Iqbal noted in a statement that both Indonesians were returned to their families on Thursday.

"We have provided counseling and advocacy for them," Iqbal stated here on Friday, Jan 18.

Siti Nurhidayah, a woman from Brebes District of Central Java, was arrested on November 6, 2013, for carrying methamphetamine when she transited in Penang, Malaysia, on her flight from Guangzhou, China.

An investigation by the Indonesian Citizen Protection Team found that Nurhidayah was a victim of fraud. During the court sessions, Nurhidayah`s lawyer presented key witnesses, who testified that she had been defrauded.

Nurhidayah was released from all charges on November 15, 2018.

Mattari, a Madurese man, was arrested on December 14, 2016, in a construction project where he worked in Selangor, Malaysia, for allegedly killing a Bangladeshi.

A lawyer provided by the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Gooi & Azzura, have convinced judges in the court that they did not have adequate evidence nor witnesses in the case.

On November 2, 2018, Mattari was released from all charges, but the permit from the Malaysian Immigration Office to deport him was only received on Jan 8.

"During the legal process, the Indonesian Embassy has provided counseling for both of them, including to facilitate communication with their respective families," an official of the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur Galuh Indriyati stated.

Since 2011, some 442 Indonesians have been charged with death penalty in Malaysia, of which 308 were acquitted, while the remaining 134 are still awaiting further legal process.


Reporting by Yashinta Difa Pramudyani
Editing by Suharto

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