Tag Archives: farcical trial

Journalists face difficulties when trying to report about the trial of Buchtar Tabuni

JUBI
25 September 2012[Photo at the top of the report shows several of the police on guard, all of whom are heavily armed.]

The police who guarded the courthouse during the trial of Buchtar Tabuni made it difficult for some of the journalists wanting to cover the case to gain access to the court.

Benny Mawel of JUBI said: ‘I showed my press card but the police  insisted that I open my bag and take everything in it out for them to examine’ He said that access to the court had been made difficult.

Journalists were interrogated and the police demanded to see the contents of their cases. ‘This happened not only to me but to other journalists,’ said Benny Mawel, ‘even though we had clearly displayed our press cards.’

This did not happen during the earlier hearings of the trial.

A journalist  from Papua Pos Daily, Rudolf,  also said he had been heavily investigated. His bag had also been searched. He said that before entering the court, he hung his press cord round his neck but even so, the police examined the contents of his bag.

While on the one hand regretting the  measures taken against journalists by the police, Viktor Mambor, chairman of the Jayapura branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, AJI. said he hoped that journalists would understand what the police were doing.

”They certainly acted excessively and this should not be necessary this if journalists have clearly shown their press cards. But at the same time,’ he said,  ‘I could understand what they were doing because during an earlier discussion I had with the chief of police, there was concern about the fact that the credentials of some of the journalists were suspect because of recent indications about the involvement of certain pressmen in the recent violent conflict  in Papua.’

He went on to say that some time around July this year, a journalist had been interrogated by the police because he had reported that the Morning Star Flag had been flown on some occasions. In Papua, such reports only complicate matters because it stigmatises people, thereby legitimising excessive measures taken by the security forces. As Papuans, we have to understand this,’ he said.

Translated by TAPOL]

Buchtar Tabuni sentenced to eight months; tight security round the courthouse.

 

 

Bintang Papua
24 September 2012
The former chairman of the KNPB – National Committee for West Papua – was sentenced to eight months in prison, having been charged with inflicting damage on the prison where he was held. The sentence was  less than the demand of the prosecutor who wanted the accused to be sentenced to one year. The eight month sentence will be reduced by the time the accused has already spent behind bars.Aggravating circumstances were that he had previously  been sentenced and that his actions caused anxiety among the people, while the mitigating factor was that he had behaved politely in court.

Following the announcement of the verdict, the defence team said that they had not yet decided whether to launch an appeal against the sentence. ‘We are still thinking about how we will respond,’ said Gustav Kawar.

The defence team said that the sentence was light and the accused should have been released. However, according to Gustav Kawar. the panel of judges had  given him a sentence as the result of external interference.
———————

Bintang Papua, 25 September 2012

After further consideration, the defence team said that the verdict had not been decided independently and had been seriously influenced by the authorities, Gustav Kawar told  journalists. This influence had come from the security forces, that is to say the army and the police This was the factor that had caused the judges to hesitate before reaching their verdict. There were also doubts because of the fact that the testimony from several of the witnesses was contradictory. Nor had it been proven that the accused had been acting  in consort with others.

According to Gustav Kawar, the Criminal Procedural Code (KUHP) stipulates that  if  any element in the charge has been proven to be invalid, the entire charge must be declared invalid. The accused as well as his defence team said that they would consider what to do in the coming seven days.

Security measures round  the court

On the day the verdict was announced, around 230 security forces from the local and district forces, including personnel  from the police intelligence unit, Brimob  were among those standing guard.

The chief of police said that several  elements of the security forces had taken part in security at the time of the various hearings.  He asserted that  they had discovered sharp weapons among the crowd of people outside the courthouse following the earlier hearings but after measures had been taken, this did not occur during the latter hearings.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

Komnas HAM calls for harshest punishment for killing civilian

In a statement issued today, 25 July, the Papuan branch of Komnas HAM, the National Human Rights Commission, has called on the authorities to mete out the harshest possible punishment for the member of the army who murdered the Rev. Ginderman Gire and wounded Gembala Pitinius in Tingginambut on 17 March 2011.Deputy chairman of Komnas HAM, Mathius Murib,  said he appreciated the decision of the Indonesian army to launch legal proceedings against  those who tortured and killed Rev Ginderman and wounded Gembala Pitinius. The latter man survived after being tortured. in Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya district. ‘We very much hope that the perpetrators  will be punished as harshly as possible according to the law so as to act as a deterrent, to ensure that such a crime doesn’t happen again.’

This was in connection with the forthcoming trial of the three army officers  who had committed acts of violence against two civilians

As has been reported, the trial is now under way before a military tribunal of three officers: First Sergeant  Torang Sihombing, NCO Hery Purwanto and NCO  Hasirun. The three are charged with using violence and torture according to articles 351 and 103 of the Military Code for causing the death of Ginderman Gire.

The crime againt Ginderman occuurred on 17 March 2010, At the time, First Lieutenant  Sudarman as commander of Post Illu Puncak Jaya had ordered the three accused to go on patrol in Pos Illu Post, in the Mulia area  in Puncak Jaya. The three men followed a convoy of vehicles which were transporting foodstuffs. After reaching Pintu Angin Alome, one of the drivers of the trucks reported to First Sergeant Saut Torang Sihombing that a local man named Ginderman Gire had asked for fuel. whereupon the sergeant asked why  he was asking for fuel, when another man Pitinius Kogoya also asked for fuel. When they said nothing, Sergeant Sihombing became very angry and struck Ginderman in his chest and hit Pitinus in the face.

After being struck, Ginderman said: ‘I’m not afraid of the army and I have friends up in the mountains who are well armed.’

The sergeant then handed the two men over  to another soldier, Hery Purwanto for questioning. During the questioning, the two men were beaten. Pitinus was able to escape  and jumped into a ravine. One of the soldiers fired shots into the air as a warning while Ginderman tried to grab a weapon from Hery Puwanto.  The officer fired his SS3 V-1 hitting him in the chest. The soldiers looked down and realised that the man they had shot was dead.

The soldiers then reported the incident to their  superior and were ordered to get rid of the body. The body of Ginderman was then loaded onto a truck and driven away. When they reached the Tingginambut bridge,they threw the body into the river.

JG: Low-Ranking Soldiers Indicted Over Torture, Killing in Papua’s Puncak Jaya

[The Papua Customary Council (DAP), however, disagreed with the Army’s
version of events. It said Kinderman was a local priest and had no
ties to the OPM.

“He was waiting for a delivery from Wamena, so when a convoy
approached he immediately went up to check for his package,” DAP
member Markus Haluk said. “There are thousands of innocent civilians
in Papua accused of being OPM to justify military tortures and
killings. This trial is just for show, like the previous one.”]

The Jakarta Globe
July 21, 2011

Low-Ranking Soldiers Indicted Over Torture,
Killing in Papua’s Puncak Jaya

by Banjir Ambarita

Jayapura

A military tribunal in Papua indicted three low-ranking soldiers on
Wednesday for the killing of a civilian in Puncak Jaya district last
year.

The defendants were identified as First Sgt. Saut Sihombing, Second
Pvt. Hery Purwanto and Second Pvt. Hasirun. All three serve in the
Army’s Nabire Infantry Battalion, as did four soldiers sentenced in
November for torturing two civilians in the village of Gurage in the
same district.

That incident resulted in international condemnation after a video of
the torture was posted on the online video-sharing site YouTube in
October.

Military prosecutor Capt. Jem C.H. Manibuy charged the three
defendants in this latest case with torture. They are accused of
beating and shooting to death a civilian, identified as Kinderman
Gire. The killing occurred near a military checkpoint in the village
of Illu on March 17 last year, just two weeks prior to the Gurage
incident.

The indictment says Saut, Hery and Hasirun accompanied a civilian
convoy that was delivering food supplies to Mulia, the capital of
Puncak Jaya district, around 10 hours by road from Wamena, Jayawijaya.

Kinderman, according to the indictment, stopped the convoy near Kalome
village in an attempt to extort gasoline from the driver of one of the
vehicles.

Saut disembarked from his vehicle and approached Kinderman who was
with another civilian, Pitinus Kogoya. The indictment says that
Kinderman then said, “I am not afraid of the military. I have 30
friends in the mountains and they are armed,” suggesting that
Kinderman was a member of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM).

Kinderman and Pitinus were then beaten while being interrogated by
Hery and Hasirun, the indictment says. Pitinus was able to escape by
jumping down an embankment.

The military tribunal was told that Kinderman tried to grab a rifle
from Hery, who reacted by firing at Kinderman. The shot hit Kinderman
in the chest, killing him instantly.

Saut said he reported the incident to his superior, Sudarmin, who told
the three not to say anything about the shooting.

The three soldiers took Kinderman’s body to their vehicle before
dumping it in a river from a bridge in Tingginambut subdistrict, the
indictment says.

The Papua Customary Council (DAP), however, disagreed with the Army’s
version of events. It said Kinderman was a local priest and had no
ties to the OPM.

“He was waiting for a delivery from Wamena, so when a convoy
approached he immediately went up to check for his package,” DAP
member Markus Haluk said. “There are thousands of innocent civilians
in Papua accused of being OPM to justify military tortures and
killings. This trial is just for show, like the previous one.”

AFP: U.S. Slams Indonesia Sentences in Papua Torture Trial

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (AFP) — The United States on Tuesday
slammed as too lenient an Indonesian court martial for jailing three
soldiers for up to 10 months for abuse and insubordination after
they were shown torturing civilians.

The sentences “do not reflect the seriousness of the abuses of
two Papuan men depicted in 2010 video,” State Department
spokesman Philip Crowley said on the microblogging website
Twitter.

“Indonesia must hold its armed forces accountable for violations
of human rights. We are concerned and will continue to follow
this case,” Crowley added.

The relatively light sentences prompted anger among campaigners,
who accuse the Indonesian military of acting with impunity
against the indigenous Melanesian majority in the far-eastern
province of Papua.

The military tribunal found the trio guilty of abuse and
disobeying orders, and sentenced Second Sergeant Irwan
Rizkiyanto to 10 months in jail, First Private Yakson Agu to
nine months, and First Private Tamrin Mahan Giri to eight months.

In footage posted on YouTube last year, the soldiers were seen
applying a burning stick to the genitals of an unarmed man and
threatening another with a knife as they interrogated them about
the location of a weapons cache.