Indonesian court rejects appeal against jail, fine for woman who exposed cheating boss

The Indonesian supreme court said that Ms Baiq Nuril Maknun, who was found guilty of spreading indecent material, had failed to produce new evidence and dismissed her challenge.
The Indonesian supreme court said that Ms Baiq Nuril Maknun, who was found guilty of spreading indecent material, had failed to produce new evidence and dismissed her challenge.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - An Indonesian woman who was handed a prison sentence for exposing her cheating boss, prompting a public outcry, has had her court appeal rejected.

The Supreme Court on Thursday (July 4) dismissed the challenge from Ms Baiq Nuril Maknun, who was found guilty of breaking a controversial law against spreading indecent material, saying she failed to produce new evidence.

The court's decision leaves in place a 500 million rupiah (S$48,000) fine and six-month jail term, which Ms Maknun will now be ordered to serve.

"Her judicial review was rejected because her crime has been legally and convincingly proven," said court spokesman Abdullah, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

The case against Ms Baiq goes back to 2012, when she recorded the principal of the school where she worked discussing graphic sexual details about an affair he was having with another colleague.

Co-workers of the school administrator - who herself had rebuffed the principal's repeated advances - later convinced her to release the recording in a bid to expose the man's history of lecherous behaviour.

Ms Baiq was initially cleared of the charges by a local court on the island of Lombok where the school was located but Indonesia's top court reversed the decision, finding her guilty of violating the electronic information law.

Lawyer Joko Jumadi said his client was disappointed with the latest ruling, her last course of appeal.

"She refuses to stop fighting because if she does, she's afraid it will make other harassment victims too scared to speak up," he told AFP.

"We have followed all legal avenues and now we hope President Joko Widodo will do something about it," he said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo in November expressed his concern about Ms Baiq's case and said that if the Supreme Court rejected her appeal, she could request clemency.

Her sentence was condemned by rights groups, and supporters established an online crowd-funding appeal to pay for her legal costs last year.

Indonesia's corruption-riddled justice system has long been criticised for the quality of its rulings, while the electronic information law itself has come under fire for being too vague and open to misuse.