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PRD subversion trials

ASIET - January 27, 1997

On 21 January, the prosecutor in the case against Budiman Sujatmiko being held at the Central Jakarta State Court presented Wilson as a witness. When asked by the presiding judge Sjoffinan Sumantri if he was prepared to be a witness, Wilson replied that he was not on the grounds that the date of birth on his summons was incorrect. When the judge accused him of trying to delay the court proceedings, Wilson responded by saying: "Actually my intention is not to delay the court proceedings, but to make them more professional." which was greeted with applause from the public gallery. Wilson also objected on the grounds that as he was also facing charges of subversion, according to the Indonesian criminal code (KUHAP) he could not be forced to incriminate himself. On Jan 23 Wilson was again presented as a witness with the DOB on the summons corrected.

Prior to Wilson, "paranormal" Permadi and Romo Sandyawan (who was awarded the 1996 Yap Thiam Hien human rights award) were also called as a prosecution witness. Permadi said that he met Budiman through KIPP (Kelompok Independen Pemantau Pemilu, Independent Election Monitoring Group). Sandyawan said met Budiman, Yakobus Eko Kurniawan and Petrus Hari Haryanto on August 2 who were seeking protection from arrest and took them to Benny Sandyawan's house in Bekasi.

At the Surabaya State Court on Monday 20 Jan, Dita Indah Sari cried in court when hearing the testimony of prosecution witness M. Zainal Abidin, secretary of STN (Serikat Tani Nasional, National Peasants Union) who also appeared the previous Thursday as a witness against Soleh. When questioned by Dita's defence lawyer Buyung Adnan Nasution (ex-LBH), he said that he was arrested and interrogated by police after his involvement in a strike at Simopomahan on June 8, 1996. He was later interrogated by "another agency" [meaning military intelligence - James Balowski] during which he was beaten and had his hearing impaired. It was this statement that caused Dita to cry. The judge interrupted saying it was irrelevant.

When question by Trimoelja D. Soerjadi (another defence lawyer), Abidin said that he had seen Dita and Pontoh at the June 8 demonstration and Dita had been speaking through a megaphone. He said that Dita he had not heard Dita "discredit" either the government or the state ideology Pancasila only that she called "Viva workers, Viva students, Viva the people". When asked if he saw Dita and Pontoh being arrested, he also said he had not because by that time he was unconscious having being beaten by security personal. He later needed five stitchers for his wounds.

On Thursday 23, Sri Bintang Pamungkas (recalled United Development Party parliamentarian and now leader of a the new political party PUDI - Indonesian United Democratic Party) appeared as a witness in Budiman's trial at the Jakarta Central Court. Bintang stated that the PRD's goals of a more democratic society were the same as PUDI's and many other people.

The previous Thursday, January 16, he also appeared as a witness in the trial of Petrus Hariyanto where he stated: "I am the rebel who is resisting the government, not Petrus Hariyanto!"

He also handed PUDI's petition to the judge which contained three central issues: rejecting the 1997 elections, rejecting Suharto's "nomination" as president for the period 1998-2003 and preparations for new regulations after Suharto in 1998. He also handed out two pages of signed demands to spectators in the name of PUDI.

In his evidence, Bintang admitted that he had attended the PRD awards at the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute on July 22, 1996. He said that during Petrus' speech he had spoken about issues of the social gap, poverty and injustice – hardly new issues and ones which are often spoken about.

When asked if in the PRD's manifesto, it was mentioned that they wanted to change the state ideology and government, Bintang responded by repeating that it's the other way round, PUDI is the one who explicitly want's to overthrow the government. "I am definitely the rebel!". The statement brought clapping and cheers from spectators in the public gallery.

When asked by Petrus' defense attorney about the PRD's doctrine, he answered that had no link with communism. He also invited the judges to carry out repairs [fix the legal system - James Balowski] and have the courage to release themselves from dependency on government power for the sake of truth and justice as longed for by society.

Gunawan Mohammed appeared as a witness on January 27 in the case of Budiman Sujatmiko. Gunawan said he met Budiman in early 1996 when he was involved with KIPP. Gunawan said that the PRD's manifesto used by the prosecution was very different from the one actually distributed by the PRD. He also asked the prosecution to show the court the manifesto but this was rejected on the grounds that "they no longer had the book". Gunawan also said that he met with Budiman late afternoon on July 27. At that time Budiman told him that he did not agree with the mass rioting.

Even prosecution witnesses from the Department of Labour and the government controlled "yellow" trade union SPSI (Serikat Pekerja Seluruh Indonesia, The All Indonesian Workers Trade Union) ended up painting a favorable picture of the PRD. When asked about recent worker demonstrations, although they admitted that they had been organised by the PRD, they stressed that they were peaceful and that the workers demands were for better wages and conditions not anti-government. They also added that after the PRD lead actions, workers' conditions improved – and anyway, in most cases this simply forced the company to pay the minimum government wage.

Kompas, Jan 21 - In the trial of Budiman Sudjatmiko, a witness Ridwan Saidi has stated that the withdrawal of the packet of 5 political laws and a minimum national wage of 7,000 Rupiah per day is hardly original has been suggested by many other people and institutions.

According to Ridwan, the withdrawal of the political laws was also included in MARI demands (Mejelis Rakyat Indonesia, Indonesian Peoples Council). "That idea is not originally from the accused or PRD. Budiman and the PRD only supported it. The issue of an increase in worker's wages has a basis. Mochtar Papakhan suggested it and knows much about its basis and why it must be 7,000. Although the wages increase in stages" he explained.

[Compiled from reports by the Indonesian media on the PRD subversion trials - James Balowski]