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Light Punishment for Violent Taxi Driver

Man Convicted of Violent Attack on Blue Bird Taxi in Bali Gets Probation.

(10/16/2010) The taxi driver charged with intentionally damaging a Blue Bird Tax in protests staged on June 7, 2010, has resulted in a conviction and a slap on the wrist for Nengah Merdana in a trial that ended in Bali on October 11, 2010.

A panel of judges, led by judge Amzer Simanjuntak, sentenced Merdana to only six months imprisonment, suspended against the successful completion of a six month probation period.

Kompas.com reports that in rendering the decision, the judges declared, "the defendant has been proven to have violated section 406, paragraph 1, of the criminal code (KUHP) by damaging the property of another party." The verdict was greeted with enthusiastic applause and shouts of support from Merdana's colleagues and fellow members of the Association of Bali Tourism Service (Paguyuban Jasa Wisata Bali – PJWB) attending the court session.

Merdana's co-workers were pleased with the light sentence handed out to their colleague, a penalty substantially less than the 9 months demanded by prosecutors.

The damage to the Blue Bird Taxis occurred on June 7, 2010 when drivers from competing taxi operators undertook "sweeping" actions that causes damage to 23 vehicles of  the competing taxis of the popular Blue Bird group. During those protests, competing taxi operations operating under Tourism Transportation Association (Paguyuban Jasa Wisata Bali – PJWB)  in Bali attacked and damaged 23 Blue Bird vehicles causing estimated losses of more than Rp. 100 million (US$11,111).

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