Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura District Court on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, has held a hearing to read out the charges against Yoseph Ernesto Matuan, a student of the University of Science and Technology Jayapura (USTJ), who was charged with treason for calling for a referendum and raising the Morning Star flag.
The trial was led by a panel of judges chaired by Zaka Talpatty with member judges Donald Everly Malubaya and Gracely Novendra Manuhutu.
On November 10, 2022, USTJ students protested inside the campus rejecting the dialogue plan of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to resolve the Papua conflict. They made speeches demanding a referendum while raising the Morning Star flag.
In Tuesday’s hearing, public prosecutor Rakhnat stated that Yoseph Ernesto Matuan on November 10, 2022 gave a speech asking for a referendum and raised the Morning Star flag. The prosecutor said such an act was an attempt to separate Papua from Indonesia and make Papua a new country.
The prosecutor also said that Matuan invited his colleagues to unfurl the Morning Star flag and banners and pamphlets that read “Reject Komnas HAM Dialogue Plan, Say Yes to Referendum, Free West Papua, Self Determination for West Papua”.
In the first indictment, the prosecutor charged Matuan with the offense of joint treason, as stipulated in Article 106 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code. In the second indictment, the prosecutor charged Matuan with the offense of jointly making an attempt to commit treason as stipulated in Article 110 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code jo Article 55 paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code.
The Coalition of Law Enforcement and Human Rights for Papua as Matuan’s legal counsel said they would file an exception to the prosecutor’s indictment. Chief Judge Zaka Talpatty then adjourned the hearing until April 3.
There are two other USTJ students going in the treason trial, namely Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere and Devio Tekege. Both will undergo an indictment hearing on April 3. (*)