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Lawyers of Papua treason suspects to report judge over alleged bias

CNN Indonesia - December 11, 2019

Jakarta – Lawyers representing six Papuan activists charged with treason will report the sole judge who presided over a pretrial hearing challenging their arrest to the Supreme Court's (MK) supervisory board for alleged bias and fabricating the arguments for rejecting the suit.

Earlier, the Papua Advocacy Team submitted a report with the Judicial Commission (KY) because Judge Agus Widodo had delayed the hearing process.

"Because the KY can't take disciplinary action against judges, the body which can hand down tough sanctions is the MA's supervisory board. We're considering [reporting him to the board", said Papua Advocacy Team lawyer Okky Wiratama at the South Jakarta District Court yesterday.

Earlier, Judge Widodo rejected a pretrial appeal submitted by the six suspects, namely Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) spokesperson Surya Anta and five Papuan students, Issay Wenda, Arina Elopere, Charles Kossay, Ambrosius Mulait and Dano Tabuni.

The judge's argument for rejecting the appeal was because it was flawed in formal terms. Widodo said that the plaintiffs confused the issue of the legality of the raids, seizures and indictment of the suspects stating that the police committed violence, discrimination and theft. Yet, said Widodo, this was not the object of the pretrial appeal.

Widodo also touched on the defendant as the subject which included the institution of the president by using casu quo (cq, capacity or position) which in this case (was hierarchical), namely the police cq the president.

Wiratama also believes that there are indications that the judge was bias during the hearings and in handing down the verdict. "From here we saw he was bias. When a judge is bias, they should immediately withdraw from the case", she said.

The first indication of this was the grounds for rejecting the appeal which they allege were fabricated. For example on the issue of cq, which according to Wiratama has often been used in other trials.

"With regard to cq this argument was fabricated. Moreover under the National Police Law we included a clear explanation of who the national police are responsible to, the president", she added.

Second, Judge Widodo was passive throughout the hearings. "Did the judge ever question any of the witnesses we presented? No. Never", said Wiratama.

Third, according to Papua Advocacy Team lawyer Muhammad Busyrol Fuad, the judge was not impartial in his treatment of the plaintiff and the defendant, the Metro Jaya regional police.

"Several times when we made an objection, he overruled it. But when the defendant made an objection, it was always allowed. It was only when we raised the question with the judge, [asking] why when the defendant objects they're given an opportunity [to speak], it was only after that that we were given [the same opportunity]", said Fuad. (ika/arh)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pengacara Surya Anta Cs Berencana Laporkan Hakim ke Bawas MA".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20191211101206-12-455948/pengacara-surya-anta-cs-berencana-laporkan-hakim-ke-bawas-ma