Pacific

Calls for jail time in murder of Bali police officer

Sara Connor, right, outside court.

Sara Connor, right, outside court.  (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Prosecutors in Bali have reiterated their calls for Byron Bay, Australia, woman Sara Connor to be jailed for eight years for the death of a police officer on a Kuta beach, saying the officer had a human right to still be alive.

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The family of the officer, Wayan Sudarsa, had a right to have him in their midst, Prosecutor Kadek Wahyudi Ardika told the Denpasar District Court on Thursday.

And Ardika was scathing of Connor’s defense submissions that the use of circumstantial evidence, known as indication or guidance evidence, apart from hard evidence like witness statements, was not allowed under the Indonesian criminal code, saying this assertion was totally wrong.

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He dismissed claims the circumstantial evidence violated Connor’s human rights with this strongly worded rebuttal: “Have the (defense) lawyers also considered the human rights of the victim, Wayan Sudarsa to stay alive ... do the legal team think it is appropriate that only because of the loss of one bag owned by the defendant Sara Connor, that cost one life and at the end the bag and the things inside it were never found with the victim.”

Ardika was referring to the stated reason for the fight with the officer that night on a Kuta beach - claims by Connor’s British boyfriend David James Taylor that the officer had stolen Connor’s handbag.

And Ardika suggested that the defense lawyers should read and study the Indonesian Criminal Code, the basis for judicial process, which does not ban the use of guidance evidence.

An example of circumstantial evidence is the assertion that Connor’s claim, that she cut up and disposed of the police officer’s ID cards after his death to prevent identity theft, was not rational and rather was attempt to conceal her involvement, a consciousness of guilt.

The prosecutor also seized upon Connor’s personal plea to the Judges earlier this week where she expressed remorse but maintained she did nothing to cause the victim to die. Ardika said this was contradictory.

Connor has maintained her innocence and pleaded not guilty.

“It is the defendant’s right to deny all the indictment of the prosecutor. But from the facts that we have from the trial, we are convinced that the defendant Sara Connor has been proven guilty of committing a crime together with David James Taylor, committing violence that caused the victim, Wayan Sudarsa, to die,” Ardika submitted.

As the 46-year-old faced the closing stages of her trial in relation to the August 17 death, prosecutors were responding to Connor’s defense submissions, delivered earlier this week.

As expected the prosecution stood by their earlier demand that Connor be found guilty of group violence causing death and be jailed for eight years. The prosecution has submitted to the court that Connor and Taylor are not guilty of murder of the officer but are guilty of causing his death by violence. They say the necessary intent for murder was not borne out by the facts but the evidence supports a finding of a group attack.

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