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Ex-priest sentenced to life for murders

Man avoids death sentence for killing his lover and children

Ex-priest sentenced to life for murders
Herman Jumat Masan celebrates Independence Day on August 17 in prison reporters, Maumere & Jakarta

August 19, 2013

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A court in East Nusa Tenggara province sentenced an ex-priest to life imprisonment on Monday for killing his lover, a former nun, and her two children more than a decade ago.

Herman Jumat Masan had callously “premeditated the killings, concealed his crimes for a long time, and was a danger to other people,” presiding judge Beslin Sihombing said when reading the verdict at Maumere district court.

The sentence was lighter than the one demanded by prosecutors, who had requested the death sentence.

Herman was a priest serving in Larantuka diocese when he had an illicit affair with Yosefin, a former nun who had left the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit in 1997.

The affair resulted in the birth of a first child in 1999, but Herman strangled the baby to cover up the affair.

But the relationship continued, and in 2002, a second birth took place. This time there were complications and Yosefin suffered heavy bleeding.

Herman did nothing to try and save them and she and her baby later died.

The former priest then buried their bodies in the compound of a school belonging to St Peter Major Seminary, where he worked, to conceal his crimes.

He left the priesthood in 2008 and worked in East Kalimantan before surrendering to police this year, following the discovery of the Yosefin and her baby’s remains.

Adam Kati, a relative of Yosefin, said the family was satisfied with the verdict and that Herman would spend the rest of his life in prison.

“At first, we hoped he would be sentenced to death. But then we realized that as human beings we don’t have the right to take someone else’s life,” he said.

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