Family of Mimika mutilation victims disappointed over reduced sentence for perpetrator

Families of victims of the murder and mutilation of four Nduga residents in Mimika Regency commemorate the 1-year anniversary of the murder case with a worship service at Kemah Injil Church in the Land of Papua or Kingmi Jemaat Efesus, Mimika, Central Papua, Tuesday (22/8/2023). - Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

Timika, Jubi – The families of the murder and mutilation victims in Mimika Regency expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision made by the Appellate Judges Panel of the Surabaya High Military Court III, which reduced the sentence for Maj. Inf. Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi, the defendant, from life imprisonment to 15 years in jail.

Pale Gwijangge, a family member, said the family had initially hoped for a death penalty for Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi.

“Both military and civilian individuals responsible for the crime were tried in the Military High Court and the District Court. The victim’s family did not appeal or request a review for this verdict. However, we believe that he should have received the death penalty,” Gwijangge said on Monday, August 28, 2023.

Maj. Inf. Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi was one among six soldiers from the Raider 20/Ima Jaya Keramo Infantry Brigade who were tried of being involved in the killing and mutilation of four residents from Nduga. The incident took place in Settlement Unit 1, Mimika Baru District, Mimika Regency, on August 22, 2022. The victims were Arnold Lokbere, Irian Nirigi, Lemaniel Nirigi, and Atis Tini.

In a trial at the Military Court III-19 in Jayapura on January 24, 2023, Chief Judge Col. Chk Sultan along with Member Judges Col. Chk Agus Husin and Col. Chk Prastiti Siswayani found Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi guilty of premeditated murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and discharged from the Army.

Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi subsequently appealed the verdict. The Appellate Judges Panel of the Surabaya High Military Court III reached a decision on Helmanto’s appeal on April 12, 2023. This verdict overturned the previous decision.

The Appellate Judges Panel stated that Helmanto was only proven guilty of being involved in a joint act of murder that was accompanied or preceded by a criminal act with the intent to facilitate the acquisition of unlawfully obtained goods. Consequently, his sentence was reduced from life imprisonment to 15 years in jail, and he is still dismissed from the Army.

Gwijangge emphasized that the perpetrators had committed acts of brutality. “As victims’ families, we urge for this case to be viewed as a matter of crimes against humanity,” he stated.

He appealed to the President Joko Widodo to pay attention to this case. “We believe that the State’s approach lacks seriousness and displays leniency towards individuals who have committed acts of murder, shooting, and mutilation against civilians,” he expressed. (*)

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