Sellers of  iPads to Challenge Consumer Law Requiring Indonesian Manuals

The Jakarta Globe

Two men on trial for selling Apple iPads without an accompanying Indonesian-language manual are planning to challenge the law requiring its inclusion, their lawyer said on Wednesday.

Attorney Virza Roy Izal said his clients, Randy Lester Samu and Dian Yudha Negara, who face up to five years in prison, will file for a judicial review of the Consumer Protection Law’s stipulation that an Indonesian manual be included.

In a case that has attracted widespread media attention, Randy and Dian were arrested on Nov. 24 by policemen posing as buyers who claimed to be responding to an advertisement on the Kaskus, an online forum.

Prosecutor Endang has accused Randy and Dian of violating a particular clause of the consumer law. The pair intend to challenge this particular article in their judicial review request to the Constitutional Court.

“This can be seen as a violation of human rights, especially the right to carry out transactions,” Virza said.

“This poses problems for sellers of secondhand gadgets. It means that used gadgets will also need an Indonesian instruction manual when the buyers should be free to decide if they want or need one.”

Since its release in April last year, the iPad has become one of Apple’s most popular products worldwide. D espite a flood of rival tablet computers, Indonesian consumers have continued to flock to the iPad, creating a lucrative market for used units.

Consequently, Virza said the clause in the consumer law was vague and needed more legal clarification .

“This article must be clearly interpreted by the Constitutional Court so that it will not cause any confusion among the police, prosecutor, judge and defense attorney, as it will also have an effect on a citizen’s constitutional rights,” he said.

Last month, Endang recommended the judge sentence both Randy and Dian to five months in prison for selling used iPads without providing an Indonesian manual.

She also demanded the Central Jakarta District Court destroy the eight iPads confiscated from the suspects.

“We found it odd that the prosecutors demanded the evidence be destroyed. I would prefer that the evidence be handed to the state,” Virza said.

Also on Wednesday, the South Jakarta District Court rejected the defense plea entered by Charlie Sianipar, an iPad seller at Ambassador Mall in South Jakarta who was charged with a similar violation.

Charlie was arrested after seven of his customers, who were actually police officers, seized 14 iPads from his shop in November last year.

Andar Pangabean, Charlie’s attorney, told the Jakarta Globe that the case should have been handled by the Consumers Dispute Resolution Agency (BPSK) because it was not a crime.

“I am really disappointed with the judge’s decision concerning our defense, because I believe my client is innocent and he should not undergo further court examination,” Andar said.

“However we will present evidence, regulations and experts to prove that my client is innocent.”

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