Court rejects pre-trial suit by KNPB activists charged with treason

Antara News – February 19, 2019
Timika district court pre-trial suit hearing – February 19, 2019 (Antara)
Timika district court pre-trial suit hearing – February 19, 2019 (Antara)

Evarianus Supar, Timika – A sole judge at the Timika District Court in West Papua, Saiful Amam, has rejected a pre-trail suit by three West Papuan National Committee (KNPB) activists against National Police Chief (Kapolri) Tito Karnavian, Papua Police Chief (Kapolda) Inspector General Martuani Sormin and Mimika District Police Chief (Kapolres) Assistance Superintendent Agung Marlianto.

The rejection of the pre-trail suit was read out at a hearing on Tuesday morning. “[The court] rejects the motion in its entirety”, said Amam in reading out the verdict.

The three KPNB activists who submitted the pre-trail suit were Sem Asso, Yanto Awerkion and Edo Dogipia.

During the hearing, the three were represented by lawyers Gustaf Kawer and Yohanis Mambrasar. The accused meanwhile were represented by Deputy Police Commissioner Wahyudi acting as legal aid council, and lawyer Ruben Hohakai.

The three activists were suing the Kapolri, Kapolda Papua and Kapolres Mimika in relation to a raid on the KNPB secretariat office on December 31, 2018.

During the raid, a joint ream of police and TNI (Indonesian military) confiscated office equipment and paraphernalia belonging to the KNPB and arrested several KNPB activists, three of which were later charged with treason (maker).

Since then, the three activists have been detained at the Papua regional police detention centre in Jayapura.

In his consideration, judge Amam dismissed all of the arguments by the plaintiffs that the arrest, indictment and seizure of material evidence were illegal.

“The declaration of the defendants as suspects, the arrests of the suspects, the indictment against the suspects and the seizure of material evidence was legal according to the law”, said Amam.

Mimika Deputy Police Chief Commissioner I Nyoman Punia expressed his appreciation of the court’s verdict against the three KNPB activists.

“Of course we very much appreciate the court’s verdict. This means that the law enforcement efforts which we have carried out are in accordance with procedures as regulated under the KUHAP [Criminal Procedural Code]”, said Punia.

The activist’s lawyer Gustaf Rudolf Kawer meanwhile said he was disappointed with the court’s decision.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “PN Timika tolak praperadilan KNPB terhadap Kapolri”.]