Death sentence for former priest in murder appeal

Prisoner had appealed life sentence

A former Indonesian priest imprisoned for life for the murders of his lover and children has had his sentence changed to a death penalty by the country’s Supreme Court.

Last August, a court found Herman Jumat Masan guilty of killing his newly born child in 1999 – in order to cover up the fact he was a priest involved in a sexual affair – and linked him to the 2002 deaths of his lover and second child for failing to summon help when it became clear the mother was experiencing a traumatic birth. Masan buried the dead woman and second child in the same place as the first, on the grounds of the seminary where he was ministering at that time.

Imprisoned for life, Masan, who left the priesthood in 2008, appealed his sentence, only for the Supreme Court to rule that the death penalty was the more appropriate response to his crimes.

“We hope it will have a deterrent effect so that people won’t so easily plan to end other peoples’ lives,” Judge Gayus Lumbuun said of the increased sentence.