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Ex-army officer acquitted of killing of four Papua teens

Radio New Zealand - December 12, 2022

An Indonesian court has acquitted a retired army officer in the fatal shooting of four teenagers in Papua in 2014, crushing hopes the military would be held accountable for alleged abuses in the region.

The seven-week trial saw public prosecutors bring charges of "crimes against humanity" against retired army major Isak Sattu for his alleged role in ordering the fatal shooting.

The case relates to an incident in the Papuan district of Paniai in 2014 when security forces allegedly opened fire on a crowd of hundreds of residents who had gathered to protest against the beating a child, killing four and injuring 17.

Yones Douw, a lawyer and representative for the families of the victims, said the trial was only held to "create a good image for Indonesia."

"Since the beginning of the trial we rejected it because there was only one suspect and we just knew he would be freed," he said.

Prosecutors, who alleged that Isak had failed in his command responsibility by not stopping his troops, had called for the him to be jailed for 10 years.

Isak's lawyer, Syahrir Cakkari, said he was cleared of all charges because he was not responsible for the actions of the military personnel involved in the incident.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/480562/ex-army-officer-acquitted-of-killing-of-four-papua-teen