Class action against military emergency in Aceh rejected

Kompas Cyber Media – October 9, 2003
People's Lawyers Union collects donations in Jakarta (Tribune)
People's Lawyers Union collects donations in Jakarta (Tribune)

Dulhadi, Jakarta – A class action suit which was launched by the People’s Lawyers Union (Serikat Pengacara Rakyat, SPR) against President Megawati Sukarnoputri, TNI [armed forces] chief General Endriartono Sutarto and the chairperson of the People’s Representative Assembly (DPR), Akbar Tandjung, over the military emergency in Nangroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), was rejected by a panel of judges in the Central Jakarta state court on Thursday, October 9.

In their intermediate decision, the panel of judges, presided over by Panusunan Harahap, was of the opinion that the plaintiff (SPR) was not the victim or the party which had suffered direct damages. As well as this, according to the panel of judges, SPR had not cited compensation in a manner which was clear and detailed. SPR had also not presented a proposal on the mechanisms and procedures for this compensation as is required.

Panusunan stated, “The party which is considered to have directly suffered damages because of the implementation of Presidential Decree Number 28/2003 on the Application of a Military Emergency in NAD are TNI soldiers, in accepting the assignment they were given or their families or the civilian population who are in NAD”.

Furthermore said Panusunan, the plaintiffs as representatives of a class or class representative [sic] and all Indonesian citizens as members of a group (class member), who are represented by SPR do not conformity in terms of the facts and events based on law or the suit. “As a result, this class action suit does not fulfill the criteria or legal requirements to be presented in a class action suit”, said Panusunan.

Panusunan added that in accordance with the stipulations of Article 5 Paragraph 5 of Supreme Court Regulation 2002, if a suit is considered to be invalid, the examination must be ended will a legal judgement. “Because of this, this law suit cannot be continued and the said law suit does not need to be examined or given further consideration”, explained Panusunan.

Meanwhile, SPR lawyer Habiburakhman said that they would shortly be improving and resubmitting the class action suit. “Because this is just a intermediate decision and the suit which we have presented has already been considered by the judge as a civil case”, he said.

President Megawati’s legal representative did not attended any of the court sessions. [The legal representatives] which did attend were those of the TNI chief and the chairperson of the DPR. (prim)

[Translated by James Balowski.]