Jayapura, Jubi – Public prosecutor Achmad Kobarubun made a response to the defense memorandum of the defendant’s lawyer, the Papua Coalition of Law Enforcement and Human Rights, in the trial of alleged treason by seven Morning Star flag raisers at the Jayapura District Court on Wednesday, August 24, 2022.
Kobarubun emphasized that he believed the seven defendants had committed treason. The seven defendants were Melvin Yobe (29), Melvin Fernando Waine (25), Devio Tekege (23), Yosep Ernesto Matuan (19), Maksimus Simon Petrus You (18), Lukas Kitok Uropmabin (21), and Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere (21). They were tried for alleged treason upon raising the Morning Star flag at Cenderawasih Sports Centre on December 1, 2022.
The trial was presided over by a panel of judges led by RF Tampubolon SH, with member judges Mathius and Iriyanto T. On August 11, Public prosecutor Achmad Kobarubun demanded that the seven defendants be convicted guilty of treason and sentenced to one year in prison.
In a hearing on August 22, the Papua Coalition of Law Enforcement and Human Rights read out their pledge or memorandum of defense and stated that the public prosecutor failed to prove the elements of the criminal act of treason as referred to in Article 106 of the Criminal Code Jo Article 55 Paragraph (1) to 1 Criminal Code.
The coalition said the public prosecutor could not present an expert witness to explain the treason article charged against Melvin Yobe and his friends.
In reading his response, Kobarubun said Melvin Yobe and friends’ action to raise the Morning Star at the Cenderawasih Sports Centre and march to the Papuan Legislative Council showed their determination to stop militarism in Papua. Kobarubun said this was the first act of committing treason or separating from the Republic of Indonesia.
He said that Melvin Yobe and his friends also admitted their action and confirmed the testimonies of the witnesses presented in the examination. The defendants admitted they raised the Morning Star flag and marched while carrying the Morning Star flag to the Papuan Legislative Council while shouting “We are not red and white [Indonesian flag], we are Morning Star”.
Kobarubun also emphasized that Melvin Yobe and his friends unfurled banners that read “Self Determination For West Papua, Stop West Papua Militarism and “Indonesia Immediately Open Access for UN Human Rights Commission Investigation Team to West Papua”. He said all these actions fulfilled the crime elements of committing, ordering to commit, and participating in the crime of treason as referred to in Article 110 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code Jo Article 55 paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code.
“The public prosecutor remains of the opinion that the defendants have been legally proven to have committed the crime of treason as stated in our indictment dated August 11, 2022,” said Kobarubun.
After hearing the response, the judges adjourned the trial until Friday, August 26, 2022. On Friday, the court will hear the response of the Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition (rejoinder) to the replica of the public prosecutor. (*)