Accomplices of journalist killer get eight to 20 years in jail

The Denpasar District Court sentenced I Nyoman Wiradnyana, alias Rencana, to 20 years in prison after finding him guilty of involvement in planning and executing the murder of Radar Bali daily journalist Anak Agung Bagus Narendra Prabangsa during a session Tuesday.

The sentence for Rencana, one of the nine defendants linked to the premeditated murder, was lighter than death sentence sought by prosecutors. Rencana was charged with violating Article 340 of the Criminal Code on premeditated murder.

“The defendant is proven to have legally and convincingly committed the crime that claimed someone’s life,” presiding judge Djumain said while reading out the verdict.

The panel of judges found strong evidence the defendant was involved in masterminding the murder, helping with the execution, and rejected the defendant’s alibi that he was at home on the day the victim was killed.

On Feb. 11, 2009, Rencana and two other defendants I Komang Gede "Mangde" Wardana and Dewa "Sumbawa" Gede Mulya Antara, picked Prabangsa up at Taman Bali in Bangli and took him to Susrama, the court said.

In response to the verdict, Rencana’s lawyer Sugeng Teguh Santosa said that his client would appeal, saying the judges’ consideration in handing down the sentence were legally incorrect.

On the same day, the court also handed down the verdicts to three other defendants Mangde, Sumbawa and I Wayan Suecita a.k.a Maong.

In the session presided over by Judge Daniel Palitin, Mangde was also given 20-year sentence, lower than lifetime sentence sought by prosecutors.

In two separate trials, Sumbawa and Maong received eight-year sentence each, lighter than 10 years demanded by prosecutors. Sumbawa and Maong, both were proven guilty of helping other defendants to kill the victim and to throw the dead body, would consider appealing.

The murder of Prabangsa was linked to his coverage on possible corruption in several construction projects financed by government agencies in Bangli regency.