Discrimination against victims’ families revealed in Mimika murrder trial: Komnas HAM

Police inspect relatives of the Mimika murder and mutilation victims who were about to attend the trial of the case at the Timika City District Court, Tuesday (2/5/2023). - Jubi/Rabin Yarangga

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Atnike Nova Sigiro reports that the Timika District Court’s trial has shown discrimination against the families of the victims in the Mimika murder and mutilation case.

The four defendants accused of murder and mutilation are Roy Marten Howay, Andre Pudjianto Lee, Dul Umam, and Rafles Lakasa. The incident took place in Settlement Unit 1, Mimika Baru District, Mimika Regency on August 22, 2022. The victims were four Nduga residents named Arnold Lokbere, Irian Nirigi, Lemaniel Nirigi, and Atis Tini.

During the trial proceedings, Sigiro said on May 31, the victims’ families faced different treatment. One aspect of this mistreatment was the rigorous inspection of their belongings, which occurred twice: when entering the Court building and when entering the courtroom.

Head of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM RI), Atnike Nova Sigiro. Doc. Komnas HAM RI

The security forces in Timika conducted these inspections. Additionally, Komnas HAM noted that the number of family members allowed to attend the trial was restricted to a maximum of 20 individuals, despite the courtroom appearing spacious enough to accommodate more people.

“Another notable observation was the presence of heavily armed security personnel throughout the trial process. The security was provided by members of the Mimika Police, Babinsa, and Brimob,” Sigiro added.

Sigiro said Komnas HAM had requested the Timika District Court to establish clear and legally binding regulations regarding access to trials. These regulations should ensure equal opportunities for everyone and guarantee that there are no restrictions imposed on the families of victims when entering the courtroom.

Furthermore, Komnas HAM urged the Mimika Police chief to maintain adequate security during the trial in a proportionate manner that does not instill fear or apprehension among trial attendees.

The trial of four civilians accused of the murder and mutilation of four Nduga residents in Mimika Regency took place at the Timika City District Court on Tuesday (2/4/2023). The reading of the charges in the trial was finally postponed for the third time, because the public prosecutor was not ready to read the charges. – Jubi/Theo Kelen

Komnas HAM has also requested the Timika District Attorney to conduct a thorough evaluation of the coordination mechanism in the murder and mutilation case. This evaluation is necessary due to multiple postponements of the trial process, which were attributed to the prosecutor’s negligence. The judges have reportedly rescheduled the trial for this case eight times.

In a separate statement, Helmi, a member of the Papua Coalition of Law Enforcement and Human Rights acting as the legal representative of the victim’s family, emphasized that the inspection experienced by the family of victims should strictly adhere to the regulations outlined in the trial rules.

Helmi emphasized that, as per the regulations, only court security officers are granted the authority to carry out luggage searches during court proceedings.

“Any individuals other than Court Security Officers are prohibited from conducting luggage checks on court visitors,” Helmi told Jubi on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

Final stage of trial

The trial proceedings for the Mimika murder and mutilation case have reached their final stage. On May 8, 2023, the public prosecutor presented the charges, asserting that Andre Pudjianto Lee, Dul Umam, and Rafles Lakasa had been proven to have committed premeditated murder together. According to the prosecutor, their actions of premeditated murder disrupted the stability and security of Timika City.

The prosecutor further stated that the murder, accompanied by mutilation, was driven by negative sentiments and discriminatory treatment based on identity, ethnicity, or certain groups.

In addition to seeking a life imprisonment sentence for the three defendants, the prosecutor requested that Andre Pudjianto Lee and his accomplices remain in detention and be ordered to pay court costs.

Previously on May 4, 2023, the prosecutor also presented the charges against Roy Marten Howay. Roy Marten Howay was found guilty of joint premeditated murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Military court verdict

The murder and mutilation case involved six soldiers from the Raider 20/Ima Jaya Keramo Infantry Brigade. The soldiers were separately prosecuted in the Surabaya High Military Court III and Jayapura Military Court III-19.

Maj. Inf Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi stood trial at the Surabaya High Military Court III. On January 24, 2023, the panel of judges led by chief judge Col. Chk Sultan, along with member judges Col. Chk Agus Husin and Col. Chk Prastiti Siswayani, found Dakhi guilty of premeditated murder. He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment and discharged from the Army.

The verdict reading session of the murder and mutilation of four Nduga residents in Mimika Regency with the defendant Major Inf Dakhi took place at the Military Court III-19 Jayapura, Jayapura City, Tuesday (24/1/2023). – Jubi.Alexander Loen

The other five soldiers were Capt. Inf Dominggus Kainama (who passed away on December 24, 2022, due to heart disease), First Pvt. Rahmat Amin Sese, First Pvt. Rizky Oktaf Muliawan, First Pvt. Robertus Putra Clinsman, and Chief Pvt. Pargo Rumbouw.

On February 16, 2023, the Military Court III-19 Jayapura found the four defendants guilty of premeditated murder. The Court sentenced Sese and Muliawan to life imprisonment, while Clinsman received a 20-year imprisonment and Rumbouw 15 years. All were dismissed from the Army.

Maj. Inf Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi lodged an appeal against the verdict. On April 12, 2023, the Appellate Panel of Judges at the Surabaya High Military Court III overturned the decision of the previous panel.

The Appellate Panel of Judges concluded that Dakhiwas only guilty of being an accomplice to murder, committed in association with other criminal acts with the intention of facilitating the unlawful acquisition of goods. As a result, his sentence was reduced to 15 years of imprisonment. (*)

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