Families of Eden Bebari and Ronny Wandik disappointed by lenient charges against shooting suspects

Screenshot of the trial atmosphere of Military Court III-14 Denpasar, for the shooting and murder of Eden Bebari and Ronny Wandik on July 12, 2023. - IST

Jayapura, Jubi – The disappointment felt by the families of Eden Bebari and Ronny Wandik was palpable as they learned that First Sgt. Vicentie De Oliviara and Chief Pvt. Bahari Muhrim, the defendants who fatally shot the two teenagers, were facing mild sentences.

On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, Gustaf R Kawer, the legal representative of the victims’ families, said that the families were unsatisfied with the charges brought forth by the military prosecutor at the Military Court III-14 in Bali’s Denpasar on August 19, 2023.

The prosecutor sought a mere two-year imprisonment for De Oliviara and Muhrim.

Kawer criticized this demand, calling it disregarded the families’ yearning for justice. He said the families believed the charges did not align with the severity of the crime.

The trial was overseen by a panel of judges led by Col. Chk. Dedy Darmawan, along with Lt. Col. Chk Agustono and Capt. Chk (K) Dianing Lusiasukma.

The incident, which led to the tragic deaths of Eden Bebari and Ronny Wandik, unfolded near the Kuala Kencana area in Mimika Regency, Central Papua Province, on April 13, 2020. The shooting involved four Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers, namely  First Sgt. Vicentie De Oliviara and Chief Pvt. Bahari Muhrim from the Yonif 900/Sbw, Lt. Inf Gabriel Bowie Wijaya  from Yonif 711/Rks, and Chief Pvt. Sugi Harnotoand from Yonif 712/Wt.

Kawer contended that the evidence clearly pointed to the culpability of De Oliviara and Muhrim on charges of murder, as outlined in the First Indictment under Article 338 of the Criminal Code. Despite this, the charges they faced included only a two-year prison sentence and discharge from the TNI unit.


“The military prosecutor appeared to be shielding the perpetrators from the maximum penalties stipulated by the charges, which could carry sentences of 15 and 12 years,” Kawer said.

He urged the Military Court III-14 judges to consider the witnesses’ testimonies and impose the harshest possible sentences on De Oliviara and Muhrim, in addition to dismissing them from military service.

He further asserted that the maximum sentence would not only serve the cause of justice for the victims’ families but also uphold the rights of the broader Papua community. The verdict from the panel of judges is anticipated to be announced on September 5, 2023. (*)

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