Markus Junianto Sihaloho
After being widely condemned for his insensitive remarks about rape victims, some people are now sympathizing with Supreme Court justice candidate M. Daming Sanusi and his “slip of the tongue.”
Supreme Court spokesman Ridwan Mansyur revealed that Daming himself reported the case to the Supreme Court, which considered his action an ethics violation.
“Judges are only humans [and] can make mistakes, and he already apologized to the public,” Ridwan said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Daming has also been questioned by the Judicial Commission in relation to the incident, Ridwan added, although it’s not clear yet whether he will be sanctioned or not.
Separately, lawmaker Trimedya Panjaitan asked both the Supreme Court and the commission not to sack Daming from his job.
Daming, who has been a judge for 24 years, was recently appointed as the chief of the Palembang High Court.
“The Judicial Commission will be exaggerating this thing if they sack him, [especially since] they don’t even sack judges involved in verdict falsifications,” said Trimedya, a member of the House of Representatives’ Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, human rights and security issues.
“Daming was only nervous and unlucky. He made a violation to [judges’] code of ethics, but it was unintentional. The Supreme Court and the Judicial Commission must regard this matter objectively,” he added.
Support for Daming also came from Constitutional Court Justice Akil Mochtar, who said Daming was only a victim of the lawmakers’ tricky question.
“Nobody’s perfect — it was just a slip of the tongue. We have to see this matter fairly, not emotionally and blindly,” Akil said. “Even God forgives our mistakes. The state, too, should forgive criminals, even if they are narcotics dealers.”
During a fit-and-proper test for Supreme Court justice candidates at the House on Monday, Andi Anzhar, a lawmaker from the National Mandate Party, asked Daming’s opinion about sentencing rapists to death, to which he answered, “Both the rapist and the victim enjoy it. So, [we] have to think again about death sentence.”
Some lawmakers laughed at his inappropriate joke, though his remarks prompted considerable criticism, particularly from the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras).
Many members of the public have also demanded that Daming be disqualified from the selection process and resign from his job as a judge.