Forkorus is waiting for international support: Verdict to be announced on 16 March

Bintang Papua, 12 March 2012<Illustration at the beginning of the report shows the defendants addressing their sympathisers outside the court.>

The  twelfth hearing of the trial of the five defendants – Forkorus Yaboisembut (‘President of the Federal Republic of West Papua), Edison Waromi (‘prime minister’). Agustinus M Sanany Kraar, Selpius Bobii, and Dominikus Sorabut – was held in the Jayapura district court on 12 March. As had happened at the time of previous hearings,  a large crowd had gathered along the Abepura highway, causing a traffic jam around the courthouse, because of the presence of security force people who were also trying to regulate the traffic.

The defendants also stuck to their routine of saying prayers before the hearing and as well as giving speeches afterwards.

After the hearing concluded, Forkorus and his co-defendants  left the courthose while singing hymns making speeches in which they said that  reject the trial and reject the whole process of charging them with makar – treason. They also said that what they wanted was their unconditional release and they were now awaiting  responses from international lawyers who they had approached for international support. They said that none of the charges against  them were true but were the result of manipulations.

At 8.51 local time, the five defendants arrived at the Jayapura courthouse and as they got down from the coach, they sang hymns together with their supporters and  members of their families for fifteen minutes. This slightly delayed the start of the hearing.

At 9.05, the panel of judges consisting of  five people took their positions on the bench along with two secretaries.

The chairman of the panel of judges had to delay the start of the hearing briefly  because the chief prosecutor had not yet arrived.

This session was held to hear the response by the prosecutor – replik – to the defence statement by the defendants as well as by their legal team.

The chief prosecutor, Julius Teuf said that they firmly rejected the defence statement  as well as the statements made by each of the defendants.Teuf then said that they stood by their earlier  demand that the five defendants should be sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Freddy Latunussa, an expert member of the defence legal team, said that the statement by the chief prosecutor that the defendants had tried, called upon and urged  others to take part in an act of treason  had not been proven under Article  106 of the Criminal Code as had been alleged by the prosecution.

According to the observations of Bintang Papua, the defence team of lawyers  rejected all the demands  made against the defendants as stated in the Replik because the Criminal Code does not allow statements to be read out but should have been presented in writing. As the panel of judges had previously said that this should have been done in writing, the chairman of the panel said that they had given the prosecutors three days to do this in accordance with an agreement reached during a previous hearing.

A 9.20, the chairman of the panel of judges closed the hearing  and said that the trial would continue on Friday, 16 March, when the panel of judges would announce their verdict.

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