INDONESIA: The Prosecutor of the Haris and Fatia Case Behaves Like Luhut Binsar Panjaitan’s Attorney (LBP) and Restricts Trial Access  in  the East Jakarta District Court

The trial on the criminalization case against Ms. Fatia Maulidiyanti (Coordinator of KontraS) and Mr. Haris Azhar (Founder of Lokataru) entered the stage of examining the reporting witness, namely Mr. Luhut Binsar Panjaitan. At this trial, it became increasingly clear that the Public Prosecutor (JPU) no longer represented the interests of the State but behaved like the attorney for Mr. Luhut Binsar Panjaitan (LBP).  The most striking thing is that the prosecutor asked questions that were not in the Police Investigation Report (BAP) and the indictment, namely about the relationship and conversation between Luhut and Haris Azhar.

This means that it is indicated that this question has been prepared to create the impression that Haris is a player in this matter of asking for shares. Furthermore, the public prosecutor tried to determine if Haris’ podcast, which raised Papua in response, was not given shares by Luhut. This is clearly irrelevant and (not) in accordance with the previous legal process.

Before the trial ended, accounts identified as having affiliations with Luhut raised this issue without listening to the entire  trial.  Even though in the end, Luhut himself stated that when Haris asked for the shares, it was for the indigenous Papuan people and in the capacity as their attorney, these facts show that there is a scenario to divert the main issue at trial, namely the alleged involvement of the Luhut company in Papua.

Fatally, efforts to disseminate this issue were carried out without confirming or even listening to the end where each defendant was given the opportunity to respond to the testimony of the witness. When reporting Fatia & Haris, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan claimed to be an individual/ordinary citizen. But in reality, today’s trial showed that it was a big lie. The trial was heavily guarded by a large number of security forces and there were even military personnel participating in the security.

In addition, Fatia & Haris’ lawyers were even unable to enter the trial due to obstructions before the court. Later, even when they entered the court the number was limited to 12 people. These obstacles were not only experienced by lawyers, but also  by a number of journalists and visitors who wanted to monitor the course of the trial process. Following the court’s treatment at the previous trial, which changed the trial day agreement from Monday to Thursday only because of a request by LBP’s attorney, which was even submitted without evidence.

The AHRC condemns the steps taken by the East Jakarta District Court which restricted access to the courtroom. Since last week, the public and the lawyer team have been restricted from participating in the proceedings without being accompanied by a clear legal basis. When confronted, the police on duty also did not answer clearly. This clearly violates the principle of an open trial to the public as stated in Article 13 of Law No. 48 of 2009 concerning Judicial Power and harassing the advocate profession who wants to provide legal assistance to their clients.

Furthermore, journalists and media wishing to cover the judicial process were repeatedly blocked at the gate and entrance to the permit room. This is a violation of press freedom as mandated by Law number 40 of 1999. In addition, parties who intentionally violate the law to limit the work of the press have committed criminal acts under the Press Law.

We also condemn all forms of alleged acts of violence perpetrated by security forces at the gates of the Court against the public who wish to witness the trial. The alleged forms of violence took the form of forcing, intimidation, and clamping. Apart from that, the police officer also seems to have no empathy in serving in the field as indicated by their silence when they see groups of……….