by Ronny Hisage, from our partners at Papua Daily and tabloidjubi.com
Feb 19th, 2015 (apologies for the delay on posting)
Wamena, Jubi – A witness in Areke Wanimbo’s case, Theo Hesegem, refused to testify in the trial against Areki Wanimbo in the Wamena District Court on Wednesday (18/02/2015).
He said the prosecutors should present two foreign journalists because they are the reason behind the arrest of Areki Wanimbo. When both journalists were tried in Jayapura, Wanimbo appeared as a witness.
“The Prosecutors must present both of them in this trial because Wanimbo testified in their trial as a witness,” Theo Hesegem said in his statement in front of judges in the Wamena District Court on Wednesday (18/2/2015).
He also refused to testify because he believed there is an inconsistency consisted in the sentences between the prosecutor’s charge and the police’s charge.
“In his indictment, the prosecutor said the witness Theo introduced Domi Surabut to the suspect Areki Wanimbo, while the police said I didn’t know Domi. Based on this difference, I refuse to testify in this trial,” Hesegem said.
Based on this rejection, the prosecutor assumed to recall him as witness next week. Meanwhile other witness Pither Wanimbo testified in the trial that the suspect had no connection with the letter of circulation on donations issued by the Papua Customary Council.
“I am the Lanny Jaya Customary Chief, not Areki Wanimbo. But because of the short of time to distribute the letter, I asked him to sign it because he is the tribal chief. But he didn’t know what was it about,” Piter Wanimbo testified in the Wamena District Court.
After Piter Wanimbo’s witness, the Presiding Judge Benyamin Nuboba suspended the trial and it will resume next week on Wednesday, 25 February 2015.
Meanwhile, Areki Wanimbo’s laywer Simon Patirajawane told reporter after the trial that Hesegem’s objection is part of his right as witness.
“At the time of examination, a witness (Theo Hesegem) objected to testify in the trial because he wanted two foreign journalists to become witnesses in this trial. Because they caused him to go behind bars,” Patirajawane said.
Related to witness Piter Wanimbo, he thought many things were not suitable with the Police’s charge.
“As a lawyer, I thought there are many things improper with the Police’s charge. For example there is a point in the charge that he (police prosecutor) pulled out. It actually benefits us because the suspect was accused in relation to the letter on donation, but the fact is the suspect didn’t know about it,” he said.
Areki Wanimbo was a resource person of two French journalists Thomas Charles Dandois and Valentine Bourat who arrested by the Jayawijaya Police on 6 August 2014 in Wamena.
additional editing by West Papua Media