Antasari lawyers say verdict argument too weak

Defense lawyers of former antigraft body leader Antasari Azhar will appeal the South Jakarta District Court’s verdict that convicted him of premeditated murder and sentenced him to 18 years in jail, saying it lacks solid ground.

Mohammad Assegaf, one of Antasari lawyers, said Thursday the verdict only explained why the judges considered Antasari guilty, but failed to prove the conspiracy behind the murder.

"If the judges were fair, they should've also explained why they don't think there was a conspiracy," Assegaf said.

"The judges, for example, only took into account a meeting between the defendant, Sigid Haryo Wibisono and Williardi Wizard [other defendants in the case], but failed to elaborate on the reason why Sigid recorded the conversation during the meeting."

Under the spotlight of media coverage, the court found Antasari guilty of initiating and planning the murder of businessman Nasruddin Zulkarnaen.

The prosecutors believed the murder was masterminded by Antasari with help from Williardi, former South Jakarta Police chief, and businessman Jerry Hermawan Lo, who allegedly arranged the recruitment of the hit men, and Sigid, a media tycoon who reportedly provided financial backup.

In separate hearings, the judges sentenced Sigid to 15 year in jail, Williardi to 12 years and Jerry to 5.