Celebrity musician, failed politician and Nazi-apparel aficionado Ahmad Dhani was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison today after being found guilty at the conclusion of his hate speech trial in the South Jakarta district court.
“We declare the defendant Dhani Ahmad Prasetyo aka Ahmad Dhani to have been proven, legitimately and convincingly, guilty of committing the crime,” Chief Justice Ratmoho said while reading out the verdict this afternoon as quoted by Detik. The judge also ordered that Dhani be immediately placed in detention.
Dhani was found guilty of violating Indonesia’s controversial Law on Electronic Transactions and Information (UU ITE) for spreading hate speech online through a series of tweets that were posted to his official Twitter account, @AHMADDHANIPRAST.
The tweets related to the politicized allegations of blasphemy against Basuki “BTP” Tjahaja Purnama (aka the former Jakarta Governor formerly known as Ahok). Dhani was reported to the police in March 2017 by members of BTP Network, a group of volunteers working for BTP and former Vice Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat during their reelection campaign, specifically for a tweet in which he wrote, “Anyone who supports the religious blasphemer is a bastard who needs to be spit on in their faces”.
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The prosecutors in the case had demanded that Dhani be given a two-year sentence (a demand Dhani claimed was evidence that the government was prosecuting him to get “revenge” for the two-year sentence BTP was given at the conclusion of his blasphemy trial).
The former Indonesia Idol judge has not yet announced whether he will appeal the decision or not.
The musician, most famous for being the frontman of the rock band Dewa 19, is also a member of the Gerindra party and tried to win the position of vice regent of Bekasi during the 2017 regional election (he claimed he’d bring over the Red Hot Chili Peppers if he won, yet somehow still managed to lose). He had been an outspoken critic of BTP during his time in office and often took to Twitter to make crude, provocative statements about the former governor as well as President Joko Widodo (he was also reported for alleged hate speech against the president in 2016).