Indonesian deadly soccer stampede trial begins

Indonesian deadly soccer stampede trial begins

STORY: An Indonesian court began trial on Monday (January 16) over one of the world’s deadliest soccer stadium stampedes.

A handful of police officers and match officials have been charged with negligence for their alleged roles.

135 people died in the October disaster at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java.

An investigation by the Indonesian human rights commission found that police fired 45 rounds of tear gas into the crowd at the end of the match, sparking the panic that sparked the stampede.

Investigators concluded that excessive and indiscriminate use of tear gas was the main cause of the crowding, while closed gates, an overcapacity stadium, and a failure to implement security procedures exacerbated the death toll.

The disaster sparked widespread questions about safety regulations and the use of tear gas, a crowd control measure banned by soccer’s world governing body FIFA.

On Monday, the court heard three police officers, a security officer and a party organizer, who face a maximum prison sentence of five years if convicted.

The father of one of the victims appeared in court on Monday.

He says he expects them to be penalized to the maximum, especially those who used tear gas.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced after the incident that all league matches would be suspended and the Kanjuruhan Stadium would be demolished and rebuilt.

Since then, league games have resumed but without spectators.

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