Lawyer calls on judges to release Buchtar after all witnesses fail to appear

 

Bintang Papua,
11 September 2012
Jayapura: Gustaf Kawer, one of the lawyers defending the former chairman of the KNPB – National Committee of West Papua – said that the judges hearing the case of Buchtar Tabuni should have the courage to release the defendant  in the absence of any witnesses to testify against him. The lawyer said this followed the decision yesterday to postpone a further hearing in the trial.He said that from the start, he had commented that the the prosecutor in the case had shown no seriousness in handling the case against Buchtar. This is evident from the fact that none of the witnesses he had wanted to testify at the trial had appeared although several hearings had been held.

‘In the latest instance, the witness Matius Murib was to have appeared but he didn’t appear, even though he is known to be in Jayapura and his home address in known, so why  did he not appear?’

The lawyer   said Matius Murib is known to be well acquainted with the case and the judges should consider that if there is no evidence to prove that Buchter was responsible for damaging the  prison in any way, which was to have been proven by the witnesses all of whom had failed to appear, then the judges should take the bold  step of simply  releasing the man who is now on trial.

The lawyer also spoke about the many shootings  that have been occurring in the city of Jayapura  which have been linked to Buchtar, which was nothing more than a set-up. He said that Buchtar had been linked to the shooting of Miron Wetipo but that case has already been solved, so it was clear that the authorities were trying to make a scapegoat of Buchtar. Buchtar was arrested on 6 June 2012 which was just at the time when some shootings occurred in Jayapura which was followed by the arrest of Buchtar, whereas Buchtar was not in any way connected with those shootings. So instead of being charged with the shootings, he now faces the charge  of inflicting damage on the Abepura Prison in 2010, which means that he should have been arrested in 2010.

At the time, it was said that there were plenty of witnesses and now they were not even able to call Matius Murib as a witness.

The lawyer said that  the panel of judges should postpone further hearings until Matius Murib could be called as his testimony would be crucial for this trial. Gustaf insisted that there were plenty of witnesses who could give testimony regarding the damage inflicted on the prison, yet the prosecutors were not able to  get any of these witnesses to appear.

As is known, the hearing on 10 September was again postponed .

At the hearing held yesterday, the prosecutors were still not able to bring any witnesses to court.who would be able to testify about Buchtar’s alleged damage to the prison. The prosecutors has also been unable to summon Liberty Sitinjak who would have been a key witness  about the incident on 3 December 2010.

The prosecutor announced that Liberty was unable to appear to testify, even though he has been summoned three times. And now, the hearing held on 10 September was also suspended until 13 September while it was being said that Matius Murib, who was formerly and member of the National Human Rights Commission, would also not be able to  appear.

It has now been announced that the hearing that is due to take place on 13 September which was originally intended  to hear testimony from witnesses would now be devoted to questioning the defendant, Buchtar Tabuni.

[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]

 

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