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Bintang's detention extended

Kompas - March 26, 1997

Jakarta – The detention of Sri Bintang Pamungkas (General Chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Union Party (PUDI), Julius Usman (Chairman), and Saleh Abdullah (Secretary General), which has already lasted 20 days, as of Tuesday (25/3) has been extended with 20 days, to mid April next.

Thus the clarification by the Deputy Attorney General for Special Criminal Acts, Ismudjoko, to the press in Jakarta on Tuesday (25/3). Asked about the request for deferred detention submitted by legal counsel, Ismudjoko only said, "We have already received that letter but have not yet given it consideration."

The legal counsel team of Julius Usman and Saleh Abdullah from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, Luhut MP Pangaribuan, Irianto Subiakto, Dwiyanto Prihartono and Hotma Timbul, submitted the detention deferral request on Friday (21/3). Then the legal counsel to Bintang from the Indonesian Legal Aid Institutes Foundation submitted a detention deferral request on Monday (24/3).

Meanwhile, yesterday the National Committee on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) led by Secretary General Baharuddin Lopa met Bintang cs and the Attorney General. However, Lopa was not yet willing to give detailed clarification. Lopa came together with Muladi, Albert Hasibuan, Soegiri, and Djoko Soegianto.

Lopa met subversion suspects Bintang cs in the Detention Room of the Attorney General's Office for almost 50 minutes. That meeting was followed by a meeting with Attorney General Singgih, who was sided by the Deputy for Special Criminal Acts (JAM Pidsus) Ismudjoko, which lasted more than an hour.

"There is no clarification concerning those two meetings, because all the input from the three suspects as well as the Attorney General will be taken for discussion to the Plenary Session of the National Committee on Human Rights in the beginning of next April," affirmed Lopa.

Before that, around 13.15 West Indonesia Time the Komnas HAM group had arrived at the Attorney General's Office, and had been received immediately by the Attorney General in his office. After a mere ten minutes, the Komnas HAM group went directly to the Detention Room in the General Criminal Cases Building, which is on the west side of the Attorney General's Office complex. Not a single Attorney General's official was present at that discussion between the three suspects and the Komnas HAM Team.

Depends on the Attorney General

When asked about the possibility of a deferral of detention for Bintang cs, Lopa tried to evade that question. "As far as the substance of the case is concerned, the Committee is not allowed to and will not ever interfere in the matter. These matters are not within the competence of the Komnas HAM," affirmed Lopa.

But Lopa evaluated that thus far the National Committee will study well and thoroughly all information in connection with the legal procedure on arrest, detention, up to questioning. "This will all be discussed in the Plenary Session of the National Committee on Human Rights, before it is concluded whether it is necessary or not for the Committee's suggestions to be submitted to the authorized agencies, in this case the Attorney General's Office," said Lopa further.

Elsewhere the Attorney General's Office Head of Public Relations, Suhartoyo, confirmed that this Tuesday only Sunardi had come for questioning as witness in the case of Bintang cs. The other two witnesses were not present, because Paskah Irianto had gone out of town, and Mrs Hj Rosnah Salim was ill. "For Paskah and Mrs Rosnah we will issue another summons, while we are tracing the true addresses of Jopie Tomasoa, Paschali El Mukir and Petrus Latumalia," said Suhartoyo.


Meanwhile, legal counsel to Bintang, Bambang Widjojanto and Achmad Fauzan, besides requesting deferred detention also submiited a request for a pretrial in the South Jakarta District Court. The Attorney General was called for pretrial because of the process of arresting and detaining Bintang.

When contacted by Kompas - Luhut MP Pangaribuan said that as legal counsel to Julius Usman and Saleh, his side had no plans yet to submit a plea for pretrial. "There is no such plan yet," said Pangaribuan. (*)