Student stands trial for bee sting
He took a bee from a swarm near his school and later stuck it on a girl's left cheek. -The Jakarta Post/ANN
Bee stings are no laughing matter. A third grader in Surabaya, East Java, has learned this the hard way after being tried at the Surabaya District Court for allegedly placing a bee on his classmate's cheek.
The court proceeded with the trial Wednesday despite the absence of the Dr. Sutomo elementary school student.
Court head Nyoman Gede Wirya said that in line with the existing law, the court was not entitled to stop the ongoing court process.
"The trial involving the third grader, with the initials of D. Y., will proceed until a court ruling is handed down," Nyoman told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
"I personally cannot interfere with the judges' objectivity, but I have requested that the judges consider the age factor because the accused is still a child."
He said he had also requested that the judges not force the boy to attend court proceedings as he had to attend school.
He suggested that the judges use an alternative ruling, such as by imposing administrative sanctions.
Presiding judge Sutriadi Yahya said the court could not stop the ongoing trial process despite requests from the defendant's family and a number of circles that the trial be suspended in favor of an out-of-court settlement. He added the case should have been suspended during the police investigation process.
The boy has not appeared in court since the trial commenced on Jan. 25 because he was depressed and afraid of attending.
His mother, Elly Sulistyowati said her son had become depressed after being shunned by his friends, and added he was a gifted student and a member of the school's marching band, which has represented the school in several events.
As reported earlier, the boy stuck a bee on the cheek of a female classmate on the way home from school on March 9 last year.
He took a bee from a swarm at a coconut drink stall near his school and later approached the girl and stuck it on her left cheek. The girl's father then filed a police report.
Prosecutor Syahroni said the boy was accused of violating the Criminal Code on severe abuse that led to an injury and could face a maximum 32-month sentence.
Chairman of Commission D on social affairs at the Surabaya municipal council Baktiono said councilors had visited the court and urged judges to respond to the case fairly.
"We will not intervene in the ongoing court process because the decision is in the hands of the judges.
However, we regret the case was not settled out of court amicably because the defendant still needs to play and learn," he said.
Surabaya Children Crisis Center director Nonot Suryono expressed concern over police performance as the case had reached the court.
"The police should have arbitrated the case by shifting it from the formal and legal process to a compromise." Defense lawyer Riyanto said he would continue to mediate so that the judges would hand down a fair ruling.
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