Judge rejects exception of musician Ahmad Dhani

Judge rejects exception of musician Ahmad Dhani

Musician Ahmad Dhani is charged with violation of Law No. 11 of 2008 on Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE). (ANTARA PHOTO/Ali Masduki)

Surabaya, E Java, (ANTARA News) - Surabaya District Court`s Chief of the Judge Panel R. Anton Widyopriono rejected an exception put forward by prominent musician Ahmad Dhani`s lawyer and decided to proceed with witness examination in an alleged defamation case.

"The exception of the defendant`s lawyer cannot be accepted," the chief judge noted in a trial held here, Tuesday.

In the interlocutory decision, the judge asked the prosecutors to present witnesses for the subsequent trial scheduled for next Tuesday.

The Surabaya prosecutor`s office charges Dhani for his statement on his Instagram account on August 26, 2018.

Dhani was in a Surabaya hotel that was surrounded by several protestors, who opposed Dhani`s presence in the city, as he was to attend an event called "A declaration to change the President in 2019" held at the Surabaya Heroes` Monument.

The protestors were grouped in the "Defend NKRI (Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia)" coalition.

While being stopped from leaving the hotel by the protestors, Dhani recorded a video on his Instagram account, containing his statement, saying: "These who are protesting, the protestors defend the ruler. It`s funny, funny. These, these are the idiots, protesting against people who are not in power."

For the "idiot" statement, Public Prosecutor Dedi Arisandi charged Dhani with violation of Law No. 11 of 2008 on Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE).

The prosecutor said that Dhani had insulted, harassed, and defamed the protestors by calling them "idiots."

Dhani is a popular Indonesian rock musician, songwriter, arranger, and producer. He is the front man of the Dewa 19 rock band and also a member of the inter-continental band, The Rock.

He has worked as a promoter and songwriter for other artists, including Maia Ahmad, Agnes Monica, Alexa Key, and Mulan Jameela. He has won numerous awards, including the IMA, for best musical arrangement.

Currently, Dhani has joined the camp of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, the rival of incumbent Joko Widodo, in the presidential election to be held on April 17, 2019.

Dhani is a campaigner of the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno`s success team during the ongoing presidential campaign period that began in October 2019 and will end on April 13, 2019.

Reporting by Indra Setiawan, Fardah A