Tag Archives: KNPB Timika

Timika Six plead for international intervention after sentence passed despite unproven case

by West Papua Media, with Oktovianus Pogau at SuaraPapua.com

April 18, 2013

Six West Papua National Committee (KNPB) activists from Timika were each sentenced to one year in prison on Tuesday by judges from the Assembly District Court in a trial deemed as opaque and farcical by observers.  Sentenced on charges of carrying dangerous weapons and makar (treason/subversion), defence lawyers insisted that the six non-violent activists had no case proven against them and will immediately be lodging an appeal.

The KNPB Timika 6 back in their cells, photo taken April 17, after trial hearing. From L-R, (photo KNPB/ West Papua Media)
The KNPB Timika 6 back in their cells, photo taken April 17, after trial hearing. (photo KNPB/ West Papua Media)

The six, Romario Yatipai, Steven Itlay, Yakonias Womsiwor, Paulus Marsyom, Alfred Marsyom and Yanto Awerkion, were arrested on October 24, 2012, amidst a spate of high publicity arrests of KNPB activists by the Australian-funded counter-terror unit Detachment 88.  The then-incoming Papua Police Chief, former Detachment 88 chief Tito Karnavian,  exploited the brutal arrests to increase justification for use of Detachment 88 against political activists at a time when OTK (unknown persons, now known as Orang Terlatih Khusus or Specially Trained Persons) killings were spiralling out of control across Papua.

Despite Jakarta pinning the blame for the killings on non-violent activists from the

KNPB Timika Activist  Romario Yatipai
KNPB Timika Activist Romario Yatipai

KNPB, no credible evidence had been able to prove KNPB responsibility despite highly politicised and farcical trial processes.  Most independent observers have linked responsibility for OTK incidents in Papua squarely in the hands of agents of the Indonesian special forces.

In SMS and email communications to West Papua Media from the prison before and after the trial, KNPB activist and detainee spokesman Romario Yatipai said that the assertions made by police were “Simply lies”.

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“We are KNPB activist in Timika, West Papua. Indonesia Police jailed us with no reason.” – Romario Yatipai

“Indonesian police say that KNPB activist are criminals, terrorists, Makar (treason), separatist and so on,” Yatipai explained.

“Actually, KNPB activists in Timika always make peaceful demonstrations with all West Papuans.    We always make peaceful demonstrations to demand Referendum, as the best solution for West Papua,” he said.

Central to the police case was that the accused were allegedly carrying explosives to be used against Indonesian police posts and military targets, yet no evidence was furnished that could prove that the accused possessed explosives before t

Despite the Australian Federal Police providing Detachment 88 with state-of-the-art explosives and ballistic forensic testing capability to secure counter-terror convictions, none of this equipment or personnel were deployed in Papua for any of the OTK  trials, and no forensic proof was available at the Timika 6 trials that could have linked any of the defendants to use of explosives.

The trial heard wild accusations from prosecutors and police, but defence lawyers led by Gustaf Kawer, objected and expressed surprise when Yanto Awerkion (19) was sentenced.

As to who had ownership of explosives, Kawer explained to Suara Papua, none of the witnesses saw the defendant carrying explosives, but officials forced the defendant to claim possession of explosives.

“Since the moment of the defendant’s arrest along with five colleagues, there were absolutely no explosives he possessed … Yet when he reached the Mimika police station, the officers brought explosives and used it as evidence, and compelled the accused to confess  having an explosive. It’s very strange,” Kawer told Suara Papua.   “Our legal counsel will conduct a plea on April 23, 2013. The sixth defendant must be released immediately because of  not proven guilty, ”

Kawer also objected to the sentencing of the other defendants under makar provisions, saying the judges decision “did not correlate with the examination of the facts.”

“For the first case, it’s not proven that the five defendants were in the possession of sharp weapons.  And concerning the  treason related article, also during the course of investigation (there was) not any reference to it, but nevertheless the judge decided one year in prison by saying treason  that was proven – so we will appeal, ” Kawer told suarapapua. com.

After the defendants returned to the prison cells that have been their home since October 2012, they made a video appeal on their mobile phones, calling on the international community to do more to ensure that Indonesia ceases its persecution of peaceful political activists.

“We hope (the) International community, Amnesty International, IPWP, ILWP support us and pressure Indonesia government, Indonesia Police in Papua and Timika,” Yatipai told West Papua Media.  “West Papua activists, and all West Papuans need UN Observers,  UN Humanitarian workers, and International Journalists now in Papua.”

“Please support us with prayer and monitoring for us” said Yatipai.

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Response to Prosecutor’s exception in trial of KNPB TImika six

Apologies for the delay in translation and posting.

via KNPBNews

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Head KNPB Timika Region, Steven Itlay

On Thursday 28th Feburary 2013 at 11.oo o’clock Papuan time the third session of responses to the Public Prosecutor was held regarding the Legal Council’s Letter of Exception from the 14th February 2013.

In the Letter of Exception, concerning the indictment read by the Legal Council, there was the following:

1.            1. Procedures were undertaken without compliance to regulations set out by KUHAP (the law code of criminal procedure), with the consequence that the investigation conducted with the publication of the Prosecution’s Indictment Letter is invalid.

2.           The indictment letter by the brother of the Public Prosecutor isn’t accurate, isn’t clear and doesn’t comprehensively state the charges against the defendant.

3.           The actions of the defendants can be categorised as criminal offences intended in the first indictment:

  • Article 2, Paragraph (1) Emergency Act 12 (1951)
  • Article 55, Paragraph (1) The first KUHAP and/or the second indictment
  • Article 106, KUHP (Indonesian Criminal Code)
  • Article 55, Paragraph 1 (the first)

4.           It states the process of the investigation into the defendant is flawed.

5.           It states the letter of indictment is not clear, accurate or complete.

6.           It states the criminal actions of the defendant are not in fact criminal actions as included in the Indictment: Article 2 paragraph (1) Emergency Law 12, 1951. Article 55 paragraph (1) the Criminal Code (KUHP) and/or Indictment 2 : Article 106 Criminal Code (KUHP). Article 55 paragraph (1) Ke-1

7.          It states ‘null and void’ or at the very least, cannot receive the indictment letter by the Public Prosecutor numbered Reg.PDM-02/TMK/Ep.2/01/2013 from the 17th January 2013.

8.   Releasing the defendant of all charges and lawsuits.

9.            Freeing the defendant from custody and reinstating the defendant’s good name. But, the Public Prosecutor’s brother is Andita.

Riskianto, SH rejected the Exception Letter by the Legal Counsel and requested that the Timika District Court have the power to investigate and prosecute this case. A further hearing will be held on Thursday 7th March, 2013.

Meanwhile, Legal Counsel Ivonia Tecjuri told reporters and family that the exception wouldn’t be changed. “We’re keeping the original exception,” she said.

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Steven Itlay being led to caught by armed police (photo: KNPBNews.com)
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Indonesian police have show of force in treason trial (Photo: KNPBNews.com)
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Legal Counsel, Ms. Ivonia Tecjuari, SH memberika press conference after the hearing (Photo: KNPBNews.com)