AGO to appeal on Bloody Paniai case

AGO
Ketut Sumedang, Head of the Public Prosecution Service of the Attorney General's Office (Kejagung) of the Republic of Indonesia. - IST

Manokwari, Jubi – The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) will file an appeal against the verdict on the Bloody Paniai case tried at the Makassar Human Rights Court, which acquitted the sole defendant Isak Sattu.

Head of the Legal Information Center of the AGO Ketut Sumedana told Jubi that his party still had 14 days time from the day the verdict was passed. “We still have 14 days to study the verdict and soon will file a cassation,” Sumedana told Jubi via WhatsApp message recently.

Former coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) Haris Azhar expressed his sadness upon the acquittal of the defendant in the Bloody Paniai trial. “Sad to hear that info. Papuans are getting farther away from being respected as human beings,” he said.

When asked about legal efforts made by the AGO through the Public Prosecutor, Azhar said that if the defendant was acquitted, what was available was cassation to the Supreme Court.

Previously, as reported by Antara News Agency, the panel of judges acquitted Isak Sattu, who was the sole defendant in the case of alleged gross human rights violations in Paniai Regency on December 7-8, 2014.

“Adjudge that the defendant Isak Sattu has not been proven legally and convincingly to have committed gross human rights violations as charged in the first and second charges,” said Chief Judge Sutisna Sawati when reading out the verdict last Thursday.

The judges also acquitted the defendant from all charges of the public prosecutor and granted the defendant the right to restore his reputation. The verdict also determined that the existing evidence was no longer valid and charged the costs of the case to the state.

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The hearing lasted for three hours. There was a difference of opinion between two of the five judges who heard the case. Two career judges Sutisna Sawati and Abdul Rahman Karim, and three ad hoc judges, Siti Noor Laila, Robert Pasaribu, and Sofi Rahma Dewi.

Two judges said that at the time of the incident on December 8, the defendant was a liaison officer assigned to the 1705/Paniai Military District Command (Kodim) and there was no proper control, therefore fulfilled one of the elements of murder, and there was a pattern of violence.

The other three judges, however, considered the element of military command in the first and second indictments was not fulfilled because Isak Sattu was only seconded and not structurally supreme command.

Previously, Isak Sattu was charged with ten years in prison by the public prosecutor. The incident was related to the dispersal of protesters by military and police officers on December 8, 2014, who protested over the alleged military brutality against residents on December 7, 2014.

The authorities dispersed the protest by firing live ammunition at hundreds of protesters. Four people died in the Bloody Paniai incident, namely Alpius Youw, Alpius Gobay, Yulian Yeimo, and Simon Degei, while at least ten people were injured. (*)

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