Judge faces tribunal over rape 'joke'

2013-01-21 13:00

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Jakarta - A senior Indonesian judge will face an ethics tribunal for saying rape victims enjoyed the act, an official said on Monday, after a judicial commission recommended his dismissal.

The commission, which monitors judges' conduct and professionalism, decided on Friday that High Court judge Daming Sunusi's comments during a hearing for a Supreme Court position were "disgraceful", spokesman Asep Rahmat Fajar told AFP.

"The commission questioned him last week. We concluded he had breached the judicial code of ethics with respect to the proper conduct of judges," he said.

"We recommended a heavy sanction, that he be dismissed from his profession as a judge. He will now face the ethics tribunal where he has the opportunity to defend himself," Fajar added, saying the tribunal would be held "as soon as possible".

Sunusi made the remarks in answering a question on whether the death penalty should be introduced for convicted rapists, saying capital punishment should not be applied because "the one raped and the rapist both enjoy it", prompting an uproar among lawmakers and rights groups who called for his dismissal.

Sunusi has since apologised for the comment, insisting he was trying to lighten the mood of the tense interview.

The House of Representatives ethics council is also considering a probe into lawmakers who reportedly laughed at Sunusi's remarks, the Jakarta Globe newspaper reported.

"This is concerning the image of the parliament," ethics council member Alimin Abdullah told the Globe. "The candidate's screening isn't some comedy show."

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