Jayapura, Jubi – The families of the four Nduga residents victims of murder and mutilation were disappointed with the Military prosecutor’s charges against the defendant Maj. Inf Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi in a trial held by the Surabaya High Military Court III at the Military Court III-19 in Jayapura City on Thursday, January 19, 2023.
The victims’ lawyer also questioned the prosecutor’s construction of the indictment for Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi, which led to what they considered as weak punishment, namely a 4-year prison sentence and dismissal from the Army service to Dakhi.
The families of victims were disappointed with the charges brought against Dakhi in Thursday’s hearing. “To this day, our families have not received the heads, feet and hands of the four victims. What was cremated was only part of the body. The charges are not comparable to the crime done,” said Pale Gwijangge, one of the victims’ relatives who was presented as a witness in the previous trial on Wednesday.
Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi is one of six soldiers of the Raider 20/Ima Jaya Keramo Infantry Brigade who are defendants in the murder and mutilation of four Nduga residents (Arnold Lokbere, Irian Nirigi, Lemaniel Nirigi, and Atis Tini) that occurred in Settlement Unit 1, Mimika Baru District, Mimika Regency on August 22, 2022. The other five defendants are Capt. Inf Dominggus Kainama (who died 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.
Dakhi’s trial was examined by a panel of judges of the High Military Court III Surabaya led by chief judge Col. Chk Sultan, with member judges Col. Chk Agus Husin and Col. Chk Prastiti Siswayani. The witness examination session of the case was moved to Military Court III-19 Jayapura because most of the witnesses were in Papua.
Pale Gwijangge emphasized that the trial of Dakhi’s case had clearly proven that Dakhi was involved in the entire process and planned the murder and mutilation. Aptoro Lokbere, Arnold Lokbere’s brother, echoed Gwijangge, saying that the Military prosecutor’s did not side with the victims. “They killed and mutilated humans. What they did was heinous and unforgivable,” said Aptoro.
The offense of premeditated murder as stipulated in Article 340 of the Criminal Code carries a maximum penalty of death. According to Aptoro, that is what should be charged against the perpetrators. The current charges, Aptoro said, were not commensurate with the actions of the defendant. “We ask that Maj. Dakhi be treated the same as his subordinates, because in the reconstruction it was proven that he was fully involved in the crime,” he said.
Construction of indictment implausible
The victims’ lawyer, Gustaf Kawer, said that since the beginning of the trial, the prosecutor and the panel of judges had not communicated with the families of victims. Kawer also questioned why the offense of premeditated murder was not charged to Dakhi as a primary charge as to the other five defendants.
Kawer hopes that the panel of judges will make a different verdict from the prosecutor’s recommendation. “That can happen if the judges stick to the facts of the trial, wherein there is an element of murder planning,” Kawer said.
Kawer said that the witnesses presented in Dakhi’s case gave clear testimony about Dakhi’s involvement in arranging tactics on August 19, 2022 regarding how to trap the victim. The trial also showed that Dakhi was at the fuel warehouse owned by witness Jack on August 20, 2022, and knew about the cancellation of the planned weapon sale transaction on August 21, 2022.
“The defendant also knew about the incident on the night of August 22, 2022, up until the four victims were dumped in the Pigapu River. Even the money that was divided up was from the planning results. So if the charge is Article 480 of the Criminal Code, that is not the case, this is a premeditated murder that cruelly took the lives of four Nduga residents,” he continued.
“Therefore, we really hope that the panel of judges can give the maximum sentence in accordance with the provisions of Article 340 of the Criminal Code. We don’t want the case to be like other cases, such as the death of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani and the shooting of students in, whose legal processes remain unclear,” Kawer said.
Previously, during the trial of the Mimika murder and mutilation case in Surabaya on December 19, 2022, Dakhi was charged by prosecutor Lt. Col. Chk Eri with multiple charges including the article on premeditated murder which carries the death penalty. However, the premeditated murder charge was placed by the prosecutor not as the primary charge.
In the first primary charge, the prosecutor charged Dakhi with Article 480 paragraph 2 jo 55 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code (on jointly or severally benefiting from the proceeds of an object which he knows or reasonably should suspect that it has been obtained by crime), which carries a maximum penalty of four years imprisonment. (*)