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Former antigraft chief Antasari Azhar savors freedom


Freedom -- Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Antasari Azhar (center) holds his grandchild, accompanied by his wife, Ida Laksmiwati (wearing a red hijab), after his release from Tangerang Penitentiary, Banten, on Thursday morning.

Tangerang | Thu, November 10, 2016

Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Antasari Azhar enjoyed his freedom on Thursday after serving a seven-and-a-half year prison sentence at Tangerang Penitentiary, Banten, for murder.

Antasari hugged his wife, Ida Laksmiwati, upon his release and held his grandchild.

“Alhamdulillah [thank God]. Freedom, freedom, freedom!” Antasari shouted on Thursday morning.

Dozens of Islamic boarding school students played tambourines and chanted shalawat badar (Islamic songs in praise of Prophet Muhammad). National University Student Movement (GMNI) members and alumni of Sriwijaya University in Palembang, South Sumatra, also welcomed him by shouting “merdeka” (freedom) repeatedly.

After giving a brief press conference at the Tangerang prison, Antasari and his family returned to their home in Bumi Serpong Damai, South Tangerang, where they are scheduled to hold a syukuran (a gathering to express thanks to God).

The South Jakarta District Court sentenced Antasari to 18 years in prison in 2010 for masterminding the murder of Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, a director of state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran. Nasrudin was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tangerang on March 14, 2009. (JP)

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