Cleric Bahar bin Smith assaults serial killer Ryan Jombang in prison: reports

Left: Ryan Jombang. Right: Bahar bin Smith
Left: Ryan Jombang. Right: Bahar bin Smith

In one Indonesian prison, common convention was flipped on its head when a convicted serial killer was reportedly assaulted by an Islamic cleric in a wrangle over money.

On Sunday, Firebrand cleric Bahar bin Smith, who is serving his sentence in Gunung Sindur Penitentiary, Bogor for assaulting minors, reportedly punched Ryan Jombang, a man who was convicted of murdering 11 people.

According to local media reports, Bahar assaulted Ryan after the latter was accused of stealing money from the former’s cell. However, Ryan felt entitled to the money as Bahar had borrowed IDR10 million (US$693.74) from the murderer and had not paid him back.

Bahar’s lawyer denied that his client borrowed money as he has “so much money,” and only vaguely said that the conflict was triggered by money issues.

Neither Bahar nor Ryan sustained any serious injuries and the matter was immediately resolved amicably, prison warden Mujiarto said yesterday.

However, Ryan’s lawyer, Kasman Sangaji, said he will report Bahar to the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) over the alleged assault. 

According to Kasman, Ryan had been saving money that his parents sent to him in his cell, some of which he lent to Bahar. Prior to the incident, Ryan picked up some cash lying around in Bahar’s cell, triggering the cleric’s rage. Ryan apologized, but Bahar assaulted him regardless.

Ryan Jombang is on death row after he was convicted of the murder of 11 men between 2007-2008, some of whom he buried in his parents’ backyard. 

Bahar bin Smith, a cleric who founded a religious boarding school and a hardline group called the Prophet’s Defender Council, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2019 for assaulting two boys after they mocked him.

In June 2021, Bahar was sentenced to an additional three months in prison for assaulting a rideshare driver in 2018.

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