Indonesian court jails officer acquits 2 over stadium stampede

AN Indonesian court

AN Indonesian court on Thursday,  convicted a policeman and acquitted two others of negligence concerning a stampede that killed 135 people at a stadium in 2022.

The stampede, one of the worst sports-related disasters ever, occurred after police opened fire to disperse angry fans after hosts Arema FC lost to Persebaya in a top-flight Liga 1 match at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang on Oct. 1, 2022.

Judges at the Surabaya District Court convicted Hasdarmawan, who led a riot police unit that provided security during the match and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.

However, they acquitted Wahyu Setyo Pranoto and Bambang Sidik Achmadi, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to prove that they had acted carelessly or intentionally caused harm.

The tear gas fired by police triggered panic among thousands of spectators who tried to flee through narrow exits. Most of the victims died from suffocation and being trampled, officials said.

Earlier this month, the same court sentenced the match’s chief organiser to 18 months and chief security officer to one year in prison. (dpa/NAN)