RIM's Indonesia CEO to be charged over sale stampede

JAKARTA Mon Dec 5, 2011 11:49am GMT

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JAKARTA (Reuters) - Blackberry manufacturer Research In Motion's Indonesia CEO will be charged with negligence after a sale last month of its smart phones turned into a stampede, police said on Monday.

The police said Andrew Cobham was responsible for the promotional event on November 25 in Jakarta, which attracted a crowd of about 5,000 people. Police halted the sale after dozens passed out in the crush.

"The suspect has been banned from travelling overseas. He must go through the legal process here," said police investigator Budi Irawan.

Cobham has not been detained. The maximum penalty for negligence is nine months in jail.

Police also named a security consultant hired by RIM, an event organizer and a manager of the sale's shopping centre venue, as suspects who are likely to be charged.

RIM was offering a 50 percent discount to 1,000 people at a launch of its latest phone in Jakarta, with people starting to queue since before midnight.

Indonesia is one of the fast growing markets for the Blackberry, with about two million users.

The strong demand reflects booming consumption among an emerging middle class in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, with the country having been a bright spot for a firm that capped a dismal year with a profit warning last week.

There was no immediate comment from either RIM or Cobham.

(Writing by Olivia Rondonuwu; Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Jonathan Thatcher)

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