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They Started a Joke That Left a Whole Nation Crying

Call for Prison Terms for Two Banyuwangi, East Java Legislators Who ‘Joked’ About Carrying a Bomb onto a Jakarta-Bound Flight
Balipost.com reports that two East Java legislators from the Banyuwangi House of Representatives (DPRD-Banyuwangi) have finally admitted wrongdoing in their unappreciated efforts to “joke” about a bomb in connection with a domestic flight from Banyuwangi to Jakarta on Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The two lawmakers – Nauval Badri (Gerinda Party) and Basuki Rahmat (Hanura Party) were taken into custody and removed from a Garuda Indonesia flight (GA265) when security guards heard the two discussing a “bomb” during the pre-flight security process. Initially, the two defended their actions saying that the word “bomb” had many meanings and could also refer to such benign items such as pocket matches and ladies perfume. However, after interrogation by police and widespread exposure on social media, both men have admitted their mistake and apologized for their acts.

The poor attempt at humor by the two Banyuwangi elected officials were not only unfunny, they were particularly ill-timed given recent terrorist bombing attacks in Surabaya, East Java. As victims of the terrorist attack bury their dead, people in East Java understandably failed to laugh at the thoughtless antics of Badri and Rahmat, with many calling for their expulsion from office followed by jail time.

Meanwhile, police in Banyuwangi have announced that any apology, no matter how sincere, can now stop the legal process now underway against the two men.

Local police has handed their cases to a Special Investigators Unit at the Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java.

Although the legislators remain free on their own recognizance, the manager of the Surabaya Airport insisted on Thursday, May 24, 2018, that the legal case the man must now run its course.

The two men can now be charged under Civil Aviation Law No. 1 of 2009, Section 344 (paragraph “e”) covering acts of aviation interference by providing false information, including hoax information on bombs, to airport officials. In addition, Section 437 of the same law provided for a maximum penalty of one year in prison for such acts.

Badri and Rachmat, who serve as local chairman for their respective political parties, were interrogated for four hours, after which they admitted their crime and made a public apology.

Nauval Badri said: “Let this be a joint lesson, no one should joke about a bomb or explosives on an airplane.”

The chairman of the Honors and Ethics Committee (BK) for the DPRD-Banyuwangi, Sugirah, also commented on the incident, Sugirah said he regretted that incident committed by two high-ranking DPRD members and said the matter would be considered further in closed door committee members.

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