Jakarta – The panel of judges at the Central Jakarta District Court have postponed the first court hearing which was to hear the reading of the charges against Surya Anta and five other Papua activists.
The judges postponed the hearing because the public prosecutor had yet to provide the case dossiers and indictments to the defendants by the time the hearing began on Monday December 16.
“So we are postponing the hearing until Thursday, the 19th [December 19] to hear the reading of the charges, said presiding judge Agustinus Setya Wahyu Triwiranto as he struck the gavel and ended proceedings.
The team of lawyers representing Anta and the other defendants has yet to receive case dossiers for all the defendants. The team has only received the charge sheets for Dano Tabuni and Arina Elopere.
The legal team has stated that the public prosecutor must provide the case dossiers and charge sheets because they are prosecuting the six defendants under the makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) articles which carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
During the hearing it was discovered that the prosecutor had only given the charge sheets to the prison authorities where the defendants are being held.
“We have twice sent letters to the public prosecutor (asking for the case dossiers)”, said Papua Advocacy Team lawyer Maruli Rajagukguk during the hearing.
The public prosecutor meanwhile asked the court that the charges be read out first, after which, added the prosecutor, they would provide the case dossiers and charge sheet to the defendants.
In response to the public prosecutor’s request, the panel of judges postponed the hearing for several minutes until the two parties could come to an agreement on the issue.
The defendant’s lawyers however continued to request that the prosecutor provide the documents and the hearing had to be postponed.
“We agree with our lawyer colleagues, but we have also been charged with conducting the trial quickly and efficiently”, said one of the public prosecutors.
And the result was that the panel of judges ruled that the reading of the charges would be postponed until the next hearing.
Following the hearing, the defendant’s legal team said that the public prosecutor had been unprofessional in carrying out their duties. According to Rajagukguk providing the case dossiers is regulated under the Criminal Procedural Code (KUHAP) in order to protect the rights of defendants.
“The defendants have to be asked whether they understand the charges or not. How is this possible for them to be able to understand the charges if they aren’t given the charges or the case dossiers”, said Rajagukguk.
Based on the Central Jakarta District Court’s Court Case Information Tracking System (SIPP) the six defendants have been charged under Article 106 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1) and Article 110 of the KUHP.
Anta and his friends were arrested and charged with treason for flying the Morning Star independence flag in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on August 28.
The case went to trial after the sole judge in a pretrial hearing challenging the arrests at the South Jakarta District Court on December 10, Agus Widodo, rejected all of the points in the pretrial appeal submitted by the six Papua activists.
In one of his considerations for rejecting the appeal, Widodo said that the appeal was flawed in formal and material terms. The judge also questioned on the issue of cq (casu quo, capacity or position) and the inclusion of the institution of the presidency as one of the defendants in the appeal. (mjo/kid)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Jaksa Belum Beri Berkas Perkara, Sidang Surya Anta Ditunda”.]