Jakarta – The panel of judges has rejected a demurrer or note of objection by Surya Anta and five other Papuan activists charged with treason. The ruling was read out by presiding judge Agustinus Setya Wahyu Triwiranto at the Central Jakarta District Court on Monday January 27.
“[We hereby] declare that the demurrer or objection conveyed by the defendants’ lawyers cannot be accepted”, said Triwiranto in reading out the ruling against the six defendants.
During the hearing of the preliminary verdict, the panel of judges took turns in reading out their ruling for the three separate case dossiers. The hearing began with the first defendant, Arina Lokbere, which was followed by the second group of defendants, Surya Anta, Charles Kossay, Isay Wenda and Ambrosius Mulait, and finally the last defendant, Dano Tabuni.
In the first indictment against all six defendants, the prosecution has charged them with two alternative articles, namely Article 106 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph 1(1) of the KUHP on makar (treason, subversion, rebellion).
Meanwhile in the second indictment, they are charged under Article 110 Paragraph (1) of the KUHP on criminal conspiracy for flying the Morning Star independence flag during a protest action in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on August 28, 2019.
The judges then asked the public prosecutor to continue the examination of the case. The next hearing will be continued on Monday February 3 which is scheduled to examine witnesses presented by the prosecution.
“Second, to allow the prosecutor to continue the examination of this case”, said Triwiranto.
In their demurrer, the legal team representing the defendants said that the prosecutor’s indictment was imprecise, unclear and incomplete because they failed to explain the meaning of makar, which Anta and the five others have been charged with.
“There was not one sentence in the indictment which explains the meaning of makar or a benchmark of [what constitutes] an act of makar, so this has created confusion on the part of the defendants, their lawyers and the public over the prosecutor’s charges”, lawyer Tigor Hutapea said in reading out the demurrer.
According to Hutapea, the prosecutor should also include Article 87 of the KUHP which states that the benchmark for an act of makar is when there is concrete intent prior to the act being committed. In the incitement however, the prosecutor failed to explain this.
In his response, the prosecutor said that the lawyers representing the Papuan political prisoners did not understand the law because they questioned the failure to include Article 87.
The prosecutor said that this article is a stipulation which provides an interpretation of the understanding of makar which is stipulated under Article 106 and 110 of the KUHP. These are the two articles being used to charge the six defendants.
“The stipulations of Article 87 of the KUHP do not need to be included in the indictment because the indictment lists charges against the actions of the defendants along with the locus and tempus delicti [place and time of an incident]”, said Prosecutor P Permana at the Central Jakarta District Court on Monday January 20. (mjo/ain)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Hakim Tolak Eksepsi Terdakwa Makar Surya Anta Cs”.]