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Judge who made rape remark not picked as justice

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January 25, 2013 04:02 AM EST | AP

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — A candidate for the Indonesian Supreme Court who suggested in a panel interview that rape victims might enjoy the act has not been selected for the post and may lose his job as a judge.

A member of the Judicial Commission, the country's highest justice body, said Friday it recommended that Judge Muhammad Daming Sunusi be dismissed. Imam Anshori Saleh, the commission's deputy chairman, said Sunusi should be removed because the rape remark breached the judicial code of ethics.

Sunusi told a parliamentary selection panel Jan. 14 that since both the attacker and the victim "might have enjoyed it we have to think twice about imposing the death penalty" for rape. He apologized after the remark sparked public outrage and said it was intended to be a joke.

Eight potential new justices were approved by the House Commission III on Wednesday. Sunusi received zero votes.

The Supreme Court has 14 days to decide Sunusi's fate. He currently serves as head of the South Sumatra High Court.

House Commission III members reportedly laughed when Sunusi made the rape remark, but the comment triggered public outcry in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation of 240 million.

Thousands took to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to complain, and women's rights groups also protested.

When he apologized, Sunusi said the remark was intended to "ease the tension" of the interview.