Tag Archives: Gustaf Kawar

Stop criminalising lawyers and human rights activists in makar cases

JUBI, 5 March 2012
Chairman of the Garda KPP P Bovit Bofra (Jubi / Arjuna)

 

Bearing in mind the continual terrorising of defence lawyers during the makar (treason) trial  [now under way in Jayapura] and  of human rights activists as well as journalists covering the trial, the central executive of GARDA-P , the Movement for People’s Democracy has called upon the security forces to put an end to all of their attempts to silence these people.

In a press release issued by GARDA-P on 5 March, it called for an end to the criminalisation of the lawyers defending Forkorus Yabisembut and his four co-defendants. They also urged the Indonesian government to  dismiss the head of the Public Prosecutors Office, Julius D Teuf, SH and replace him because he has been deliberately attempting to criminalise the defence team of Forkorus and his co-defendants.

‘We also call on the prosecutors to stop their questioning during which they have made offensive and insulting remarks  about the defendants and also about the Papuan people during the trial.We call for the unconditional release of the defendants and for an end to all the violence and  prohibitions  against journalists wanting to report the trial hearings because the trial is being held in public.’

GARDA-P said that during makar trials in Papua, the defence lawyers  are always being subjected to threats and terror by the security forces because they are defending persons who are being charged with makar.

Not only the lawyers but also the judges  are threatened and subjected  to interruptions, to ensure that the hearings comply with the interests of the state. Not only that, but also the bags of the defence lawyers are searched  before they enter the court.for the trial of Forkorus and his co-defendants.

GARDA-P  also said that the police on duty frequently carry weapons outside the courthouse in order to terrorise the defendants and their lawyers. and seek to threaten journalists who are reporting the trial which is open to the public.

GARDA-P regards these actions as being attempts to influence the court proceedings  in order to ensure that the police and the prosecutors make heavier demands for those facing  makar charges.

‘During the hearing on 24 February, while witnesses were being questioned, the prosecutor was constantly interrupting the questioning which greatly angered the defence lawyer, Gustaf Kawar, with the prosecutor now seeking to exclude Gustaf Kawar from the defence team. Such actions are an attempt to cause division (among the lawyers) and to make things more difficult for the defendants.’

Defence lawyer in Forkorus trial to be reported to the police

Bintang Papua, 1 March 2012

As a result of an incident during the 24 February hearing in the trial of Forkorus Yaboisembut, it is possible that a member of the defence team  is to be reported   to the police by the chief prosecutor at the trial.

One of the prosecutors, Julius Teuf, said that the problem is still under discussion at the prosecutor’s office. ‘But after having studying the matter and seeing whether we have strong evidence, it is clear that we will report a member of the defence team, Gustaf Kawar, for inappropriate behaviour during the hearing on 24 February.’

The incident occurred as the defence lawyer was interrogating a witness when there were a number of interruptions from the prosecutors. He therefore shouted to the prosecutor: ‘Cant you use your brain, I am still talking?’

In response, the prosecutor later said: ‘Why did he say such a thing? If I dont have a brain, how is it that I am sitting here as a prosecutor, an employee of the state as part of its legal apparatus?’

For his part, Gustaf Kawar said: ‘It is beyond comprehension that the prosecutor’s team will report me to the police. It is very usual for statements like that to be made during the course of any trial.’ He went on to explain what had happened.

‘The incident occurred while the lawyer was questioning one of the witnesses and the prosecutor kept interrupting me which is why I responding eventually by saying. ‘You should use your brain, I am still speaking so please be patient.’

According to Kawar, the prosecutor was very offended by these words, whereas it often occurs that words are used by either side or by the defendants in the course of a trial, causing tensions. He also said that he had reported the matter to the Indonesian association of jurists, Paradi.

The secretary of the central council of Peradi. Bob Wahyu Wibowo,  said that there was a general understanding  between the chief of police  and the leaders of Peradi, espressing their concern.  These words were said  during the source of the trial of Forkorusa and colleagues and what the lawyer said was all within  the framework of pursuing the defence of his client.’ He also referred to the law on advocates No 18/2003  which states that  a lawyer shall not be charged  for either  a criminal or a civil offence while in the process of performing his professional duties.

Kawar said: ‘I am a lawyer, one of the pillars of law enforcement. Some of us have things to support us during a trial such as the police who carry arms, but we lawyers have nothing. yet as a lawyer we can be arrested and face charges.’