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Lawyer for Jakarta Six hopes court finds Papuan defendants not guilty

Tempo - April 24, 2020

Adam Prireza, Jakarta – A court hearing of six Papuan activists will be held again on Friday April 24. The six activists are scheduled to hear the verdict from the panel of judges on charges of treason.

One of the Papuan activist's lawyers, Oky Wiratama, said he hopes that his clients will be released from all charges. "The hope is that the panel of judges will find them not guilty", said Wiratama in an SMS message.

The six activists are Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Charles Kossay, Ambrosius Mulait, Isay Wenda, Anes Tabuni and Arina Elopere. They were arrested by police for flying the Morning Star independence flag during a protest action demanding a referendum for Papua in front of the State Palace on August 28, 2019.

Wiratama said that the six activists held an action that was peaceful and it was not an act of makar (treason, subversion rebellion) to attack or overthrow the legitimate government.

The fact is, he said, the six activists did not carry out an attack. "Instead it was a peaceful action facilitated by the police who provided a bus [for them to return home]. A witness from the police said this at one of the hearings", said Wiratama.

The prosecution has charged Suryanta and his colleagues under two alternative articles, namely Article 106 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph 1 of the KUHP (1) on makar and Article 110 Paragraph 1 on criminal conspiracy.

The prosecution is demanding that they be sentenced to one year and five months in jail. The charges were read out during a court hearing on April 3.

Wiratama said that at the next hearing the Papuan activists will listen to the court's verdict online via teleconferencing from jail.

The reading out of the verdict, said Wiratama, can be witnessed through the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) and Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) YouTube channels as well as the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation Instagram account @lbh_jakarta at 1pm later today.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Sidang Aktivis Papua: Pengacara Berharap Putusan Bebas".]

Source: https://metro.tempo.co/read/1335130/sidang-aktivis-papua-pengacara-berharap-putusan-bebas