The case of Ferdian Paleka, the YouTuber behind the infamous transphobic viral video, has officially ended with his victims dropping the charges against him and leading to his subsequent release from detainment.
Ferdian was picked up by his legal team and family at the Bandung City Police HQ yesterday. A video has circulated from his release, showing Ferdian with a smirk saying that he was “more comfortable inside” his cell as he drove away in a car. His lawyer later said that the remark was made in jest.
Bandung Police’s Crime Unit Chief Galih Indragiri said that Ferdian and his two accomplices Tubagus Fahddinar and Aidil were released because the transwomen in the video have dropped the charges against them.
“The base of [Ferdian’s release] is certainly due to the revocation of complaints and reports from the victims to us one week ago. That became our basis for us to release the detainees. With the withdrawal of the report, we have closed the case,” Galih said yesterday.
However, Galih didn’t specify the reason for the plaintiffs to revoke the police reports. Galih also said that Ferdian could be questioned anytime by the police as a witness regarding the alleged abuse he received while in detainment, video clips of which circulated last month.
The hugely viral and controversial transphobic video was initially uploaded to Ferdian’s YouTube channel in early May. He was charged with online defamation under the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE), which carries a maximum four year prison sentence, as well as deliberately breaking the law and bringing harm to others, which is punishable by up to 12 years in prison under the same law.
The viral prank video shows Ferdian and his two accomplices preparing bricks and rotten bean sprouts inside instant noodle boxes before giving them away to unsuspecting transwomen. The men were visibly delighted after having pulled the prank, with Ferdian going some steps further to antagonize the public by uploading a fake apology video and then promising to upload a real apology video if he gained 30 thousand followers.
In the fake apology video, Ferdian laughed as he said, “I personally would like to apologize for what I’ve done … not.” Following his arrest, a policeman from the West Java Police posted a video on Instagram of someone mocking Ferdian, saying, “You will soon be freed … not.” However, that video has been taken down despite its copies going viral on various social media platforms.
Ferdian and his two accomplices were detained by the Bandung City Police, with the former arrested after almost a week of pursuit. The three of them were later seen to be abused by fellow inmates in several clips that made their rounds on social media. Families of the three men said that they sought for a kekeluargaan solution with the victims, which is an Indonesian legal euphemism for amicably coming to an agreement not to press charges for a crime.
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