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Subversion case continues: Budiman refuses to testify in Surabaya court

Surabaya Post - February 25, 1997

Ignatius Damianus Pranowo – who was brought from Jakarta along with Budiman Sudjatmiko and Ken Budakusumandaru – where evicted by the judge in the subversion case against Dita Indah Sari and Coen Husein Pontoh Spt, being heard in the Surabaya State Court on the afternoon of Tuesday 25 Feb.

The head of the PRD who did not want to be examined as a witness shouted "Viva Democracy" as he entered the court. He was then evicted by judge Amrin D. Boer, SH.

"As head of the PRD, I am responsible for all the actions of my members. Personally, I refuse to be questioned as a witness" said Budiman in front of the judge. Budiman's refusal to be a witness has in fact already resulted in the treat to [lit] take him hostage for 14 days [may mean solitary confinement - JB]. However Budiman remained firm in his stand. Although his defense lawyers Trimoelja D. Soerjadi SH and Wijono Subagjo SH spent 10 minutes discussing it with him, it did not influence his stand.

"I am responsible for what they have done. I still do not want to be examined as a witness, I reject all of the statements in the Preliminary Investigation Report (BAP). As the head of the organisation, I am responsible for all that has been done, as an accuse I don't want to be a witness", Budiman said.

Hugs and kisses

The atmosphere broke into commotion when Budiman entered the court. He asked permission from the judge to greet the other accused and the defence lawyer. After being given permission, Budiman hugged and kissed Dita repeatedly. There were many flashes from the journalist's cameras, and it only stopped after the judge ordered Budiman to sit in the witnesses seat.


With regard to the refusal of Budiman Sudjatmiko, Ignatius Damianus, and Ken Budakusumandaru as witnesses, their grounds were the same, because when questioned as witness in their BAPs, the officers did not inform them of their rights. When Budiman tried to elaborate but was continuously cut off by the judge.

While being questioned in a separate court, Moh Soleh also refused to be a witness. Budiman also refused to be question by the court headed by Ahmad Husin SH when he was asked how he got to Surabaya [from Jakarta - JB]. "I don't think it has any relevance to this case, I do not want to answer", said Budiman. Ahmad Husan did not continue the questioning after his efforts to give legal advice had no result. Judge Hakim Sinta Tambunan SH also asked five questions, but none of them were answered.

When questioned by the judge and prosecutor, Budiman only indicatedwith his left hand toward the clerk of the court that he did no wish to answer. "Do you know the accused" asked the judge. Getting no answer, Amrin asked again. "Do you not want to answer". Budiman only smiled and looked toward the clerk.

[Slightly abridged translation from Surabaya Post - JB]