Celebrity Jailbirds

Feb 11th, 2008, in Opinion, by

Celebrity thugs and murderers in prison and on TV, Enrico Guterres, Theo Toemion, and the “lovely” Lidya Pratiwi.

Metro TV and Murder

Sunday afternoon we watched Kick Andy, whose eponymous compere appeared to be broadcasting from within prison walls. (I say appeared because we missed the start, having enjoyed a programme on Trans 7 about fishing!)

Kick Andy
Kick Andy.

I at once recognised the inimitable features of Enrico Guterres, sometime leader of a pro-integration militia which killed numerous people in East Timor. He was clearly unrepentant of the crimes that had him confined behind bars, by an Indonesian Court, of course.

Enrico Guterres
Enrico Guterres.

Indonesian justice is notoriously lax on evil perpetrated by those who may command sympathy among the extensive primitive element of the populace (witness the sentences meted out to the scum who took part in the beheading of three schoolgirls whose sin was to worship God in a different manner from the majority population – not even a life sentence, when some of us surely agree that a dose of torture before death might just about be fair, especially when compared to the execution of three Christians convicted of ‘terrorist’ crimes) so it is reasonable to assume that Gutierrez had his day in court and failed to convince the judges of any degree of innocence.

Yet here’s the grinning Andy giving this piece of trash a platform to justify his outrages. And there too was an audience replete with people in uniform, presumably prison staff, plus, it looked like, various convicts and a collection of largely uncritical “others”. Laughter and applause punctuated the ghastly proceedings.

Worse was to come – maybe also had already been, for, as I say, I missed the beginning.

Remember that sleazy thug Theo Toemion, the former Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chief who ran amok at a Jakarta International School sports event, after his child failed to do as well as TT thought he ought. Neither the sex nor age of victims deterred his courageous onslaught, and he should have been jailed for that, but somehow it all went quiet. (Maybe some of you know what happened behind the scenes to kill that story -I’d be fascinated to hear).

Theo F. Toemion
Theo F. Toemion.

Anyway, Toemion finally got a small measure of his rightful deserts when sentenced for “financial irregularities”, and he looks just as well-fed, and just as scruffy, as before he went to prison. As indeed did Guterres. These “personalities” must have access to resources not available to the wretches we see on other prison documentaries!

We watched in fascination as Andy duly promoted a book by TT. He ripped off plenty on the outside, and now Metro TV sees fit to help him sell his story? What is going on?

Another notable was spotted by my other half, whose constant interest in celebrity TV enabled her to identify the lovely Lydia Pratiwi, jailed a year or so back for involvement in a murder. I have to admit that if she escaped, I’d be tempted to give her refuge, but that simply confirms how well these inmates are preserving their looks and health in an environment which appears to be far from healthy for most convicts.

Lidya Pratiwi
Lidya Pratiwi.

Maybe she too had her chance to broadcast her views, but if so I was too busy watching the fish being caught on Trans7 – but that hardly matters.

What is important is Metro’s peculiar idea of what a prison probe should amount to. My old bete noire, the Jakarta Post, last year reported that several military officers sentenced for abuses never even got locked up, and others allowed to spend a minimal time in a cushy billet.

Why hasn’t Metro done an in-depth report on that, or maybe Andy could invite some legal luminaries onto his show and ask some serious questions, instead of bandying “wit” with those who ought to be treated as social lepers rather than lionised.

6 Comments on “Celebrity Jailbirds”

  1. Marisa says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the episode is on academic education for convicts in LP Cipinang.
    UBK (Universitas Bung Karno) endorsed the project by giving law classes according to the academical syllabus, several convicts have also been given scholarship by sponsors.
    Perhaps those celebrity jailbirds got featured because they’re considered more intellectual compared with the rest of LP Cipinang prisoners. Rahardi Ramelan was also amongst the audience as chairman of NAPI Indonesia (Indonesia Prisoner Association).

  2. Odinius says:

    In wonder what intellectual achievements Enrico Guterres has to share with MetroTV viewers. Stunning new developments in the science of arson?

  3. falcon says:

    As long as jailed individuals (celebrity or not, but celebrities have better audience) are learning subjects that are constructive and have positive contribution in what ever form once out of jail and no longer harm the public, it is absolutely positive. Statistic indicated that the probability of returning to jail is high. The biggest worry of an ex-prisoner (poor ones) is what he/she can do for a living knowingly they are facing public rejection.

  4. Chris says:

    Last year, “Kick Andy” also did a 1 on 1 interview with the late Alberto Reinaldo, giving him an opportunity to voice another pro-Indonesia anti-Australian diatribe.

    I wonder where that interview was held? It looked like it was inside a TV studio, and clearly it can’t have been in East Timor. Come to think of it, how did AR get out of and back into East Timor, and into and out of Indonesia anyway?

  5. David says:

    When I was trying to find a photo of Theo Toemion for Ross’s article I came across this one – http://kawanua-uk.blogeasy.com/article.view.run?articleID=97430

    Well the caption says Theo F Toemion, on the right, having a wild summer of ’82, … and also a swaramuslim story from 2004 complaining about a big Western backed, Chinese-led Christianisation drive going on then, in which Theo was supposed to be taking part in. Odd sort of fellow.

  6. Chammer says:

    Interesting discussion, however it seems a bit incomplete without mentioning the making much about Amrozi, I Samudra and Mukhas in their jailhouse settings by the media. I must be asking what purpose it serves letting them speak their minds without any remorse for all the people (ie non-muslims) they killed. Of course the same could be said of A Baker Bashir who is frequently given an open platform by the media.

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