Actress Nia Ramadhani and husband Ardi Bakrie sentenced to 1 year each for drug abuse

Indonesian actress Nia Ramadhani and her husband, Ardi Bakrie. Photo: Instagram/@ramadhaniabakrie
Indonesian actress Nia Ramadhani and her husband, Ardi Bakrie. Photo: Instagram/@ramadhaniabakrie

Nia Ramadhani, her husband Ardi Bakrie, and their driver have been sentenced to one year in prison each ⁠— a surprising outcome to the case considering celebrities rarely get more than a slap on the wrist for drug abuse.

Nia, Ardi, and their personal driver Zen Vivanto were found guilty of class 1 drug abuse under Indonesia’s Narcotics Law and Criminal Code (KUHP). Prosecutors in the trial demanded that they each be sentenced with mandatory rehabilitation for one year.

But the Central Jakarta District Court during the sentencing hearing today said that prison time is a more apt punishment for the three defendants. The judges argued that they were never forced or pressured into using drugs, and thus should not be considered as drug abuse victims who need rehabilitation.

“There is no evidence that the defendants had used the narcotics in a state of dependence on narcotics, be it physically or psychologically, over a long time,” Presiding Judge Muhammad Damis said.

Furthermore, the court said Nia and Ardi setting bad examples to the public factored in their decision to hand down the harsh punishment.

The court found the defendants guilty of consuming crystal meth (locally known as shabu) on four occasions from April to July of last year. They were arrested on July 7.

The court established that Nia first instructed Zen to purchase crystal meth in April 2021. She then, along with Zen and eventually Ardi, consumed the drug on several occasions. During the trial, Nia and Ardi claimed that they smoked crystal meth to escape feelings of depression. In Nia’s case specifically, she said she turned to drugs after her father passed away in 2014.

The sentence is heavier than what the public prosecutor demanded, which was a 12-month rehabilitation at the Drug Addiction Hospital (RSKO) in Cibubur, East Jakarta. Previously, Nia and Ardi had undergone rehabilitation for around five months in a facility in Cisarua, West Java last year.

The defendants say they will file an appeal against the sentence.

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