Jakarta – Agus Widodo, the sole judge in a pretrial suit submitted by six Papua activists charged with treason, has rejected all of the points in the appeal saying that the plaintiff’s appeal was flawed in formal and material terms.
The verdict in the pretrial suit submitted by the six Papua activists was read out in a court room at the South Jakarta District Court on Tuesday December 10.
The six plaintiffs are Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) spokesperson Surya Anta and five Papuan students, namely Issay Wenda, Arina Elopere, Charles Kossay, Ambrosius Mulait and Dano Tabuni.
The six were charged with treason following a rally on August 28 in front of the State Palace in which the Morning Star independence flag was flown.
In one of the considerations, Judge Widodo said that the pretrial appeal was flawed in formal and material terms. The judge also touched on the issue of casu quo (cq, a party’s capacity or position) and the institution of the president as one of the defendants in the appeal.
“Therefore in considering the plaintiffs [arguments] and the evidence presented by the plaintiff and the defendant the plaintiff’s appeal cannot be accepted”, said Widodo in reading out the verdict on Tuesday.
“[I] hereby pronounce, one, that the plaintiff’s pretrial appeal cannot be accepted. Second, [I] impose court fees on the plaintiff of zero”, said Widodo.
A lawyer from the Papua Advocacy Team, Muhammad Busyrol Fuad, said that the judge hearing the pretrial suit insisted on focusing on formal matters rather than the substance of the legal process such as the raids, searches, arrests and indictments of the suspects.
“We don’t think that the pretrial judge today looked at the legal facts which were presented at the trial. The judge did not consider all the facts. Such as, for example, the arrests the procedures followed were invalid”, said Fuad following the hearing.
The pretrial suit has been underway since the first hearing which was held on November 11. The hearings had to be postponed for up to three weeks because the lawyer representing the defendant, the Metro Jaya regional police, failed to appear despite being summoned by the court.
In testimony given during one of the hearings, Trisakti University criminal law lecture Abdul Fickar Hadjar said that it was unusual that the arrests took place only two days after police received a report about the August 28 rally.
Hadjar explained that there are many things that must be prepared and procedures that must be followed by police before arresting a person.
“Two days after [receiving] the report, then declaring [someone a suspect] could be seen as normal if you ask whether the legitimacy [of this] is still valid. But was it normal, I don’t think it was normal”, said Hadjar who appeared as an expert witness in responding to a question from Papua Advocacy Team lawyer Oky Wiratama at the court on Wednesday December 4. (nrk/arh)
[Translated by James Balowski. Edited slightly for readability. The original title of the article was “Hakim Tolak Praperadilan Aktivis Papua Surya Anta Cs”.]