Lhoksukon Shari'a Court Decision No. 1 of 2016: Mitigated Sentence Sought for Gambling

The defendants, A. Gani bin Syik, Hanafiah bin Usman, Syarbaini bin Kaoy, and Saifa bin A. Gani, were found guilty of gambling (maisir), pursuant to art 18 of Aceh Qanun No. 6 of 2014 on Criminal Law (Hukum Jinayat). Seeking a mitigated sentence, the defendants (who appeared in court without legal representation) submitted that they regretted their conduct, promised not to re-offend, and that they had families to support.

In its judgment, the court cited the following Qur'anic passages:

  1. Al-Baqarah: 219, which states that there is great sin in intoxicants and gambling, as well as some benefit. The sin (dosa) associated with both, however, outweights the benefit.
  2. Al-Maidah: 90-91, which states that intoxicants and gambling are repugnant acts and Satan's doing, and that Satan only seeks to incite enmity and hatred among those who indulge in both.

The court ordered that:

  1. the defendants receive four strokes of the cane each (the initial six-stroke sentence was mitigated for time already served on remand);
  2. the cash float the defendants had been gambling with be seized and deposited with the North Aceh Baitul Mal (Islamic treasury);
  3. the two domino sets with which the defendants had been gambling be seized and destroyed; and
  4. the defendants pay their own court costs (IDR 2,000 each).
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