Jakarta – National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara says the prosecution of past cases of gross human rights (HAM) violations is being hindered by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and there is nothing new in the AGO’s latest response.
Hapsara said this in relation to the latest response from the AGO – or the Adhyaksa Corps as the AGO is known – on case dossiers handed over by Komnas HAM on December 26, 2018.
“Essentially there is nothing new regarding the status of the investigation proceeding to a criminal investigation. And the directives [from the AGO] are just the same, it’s like copas (copy paste), more copas, the same as before”, explained Hapsara.
According to Hapsara, the AGO’s arguments are no different from the ones given when the dossiers were returned the last time. The directives cite a lack of interviews, unclear construction of events and insufficient evidence. Komnas HAM received an identical response from the AGO on November 27, 2018.
The case dossiers, which have been going back and forth between Komnas HAM and the AGO, cover nine alleged past human rights violations.
They include the 1965-1966 anti-communist purge, the 1989 Talangsari massacre, the 1982-1985 mysterious shootings of petty criminals, the 1997-1998 abduction of pro-democracy activists, the May 1998 riots in Jakarta, the 1997-98 Trisakti, Semanggi I and Semanggi II student shootings in Jakarta and the Wasior 2001 and Wamena 2003 killings in West Papua.
Komnas HAM has already completed the investigation dossiers which have been handed over to the AGO. “Why is the Attorney General [able to do this]? Because the laws on human rights and human rights courts gives the authority as investigator [to conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions] to the AGO”, said Hapsara.
Hapsara also related how his office met with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo and State Secretary Pratikno on June 8, 2018. During the meeting the president asked what Komnas HAM’s recommendations were in relation to the cases.
“We made two recommendations, [first] in judicial terms the president must resolve the cases through a judicial process”, explained Hapsara.
Then, the second recommendation was that the president could first resolve the incidents that occurred recently because the evidence and perpetrators can be easily investigated.
“Then in terms of political influence it will cause a lot of political shocks and it will be very good if it turns into a Pandora’s Box because if one case in solved it will also open the way for other cases so that it will be very easy to resolve them”, explained Hapsara.
Earlier, Prasetyo claimed that the AGO was still having problems dealing with the cases because the incidents occurred a long time ago and this has made it to difficult prosecute, as well the lack of an ad hoc Human Rights Court.
“I can understand that whoever is dealing with these cases would face difficulties and the problem that they occurred too long ago”, said Prasetyo as quoted by the state news agency Antara on Friday January 11.
It is because of these difficulties, that Presetyo has repeatedly returned the nine investigation dossiers on the grounds that Komnas HAM has failed to complete the requirements requested by the AGO. (sas/arh)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Komnas HAM: Petunjuk Kejaksaan Bak ‘Copas-Copas’”.]