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UPDATED: 14:28, October 10, 2006
Indonesia sets tougher conditions for sentence remissions
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The Indonesian government will adopt a regulation that brings stricter requirements for remissions or conditional releases, local press reported Tuesday.

Enacted on July 28, Government Regulation No.28/2006 places " serious" crimes -- terrorism, corruption, drug trafficking, human rights abuses and transnational crimes -- in a separate category to other "common" crimes.

Under the new regulation, convicts of such crimes are only entitled to have their sentences reduced after they have served at least one third of their sentences and have shown good conduct while in prison, reported major national newspaper The Jakarta Post.

Sentence reductions are granted in observance of certain national holidays, such as Idul Fitri, Christmas and Independence Day, based on the considerations of prison guards and the Justice and Human Rights Ministry.

Under the new regulation, inmates jailed for other types of crimes have to serve at least six months of their terms and show good behavior in order to receive a reduction.

The previous regulation, from 1999, did not set such requirements, making it easier for prisoners to receive sentence cuts after serving as little as a month in jail.

The House of Representatives initially asked for a new regulation on reductions and conditional releases for inmates following a row over the numerous sentence cuts granted to Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra, the son of former president Soeharto.

Tommy was sentenced to 15 years in 2002 for masterminding the murder of a Supreme Court justice. He may soon walk free, however, if his plea for a conditional release is granted.

If he is freed, he will have served a total of five years in jail, thanks in part of remissions amounting to around two years.

Source: Xinhua

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