APSN Banner

Buchori Nasution refuses to attend court

Kompas - October 8, 1997 (summary only by Tapol)

Buyung Rachmad Buchori Nasution, private secretary of the writer and politician Soebadio Sastrosatomo, who is on trial in the South Jakarta district court, has for a second time refused to attend a court hearing because the judge is still refusing to accede to his request that the injured party [ie, Suharto] in the case be ordered to attend.

Nasution is on trial on charges of insulting the President because he helped to publish a book entitled: New Era, New Leadership', written by Soebadio which is critical of President Suharto.

In a note delivered to the presiding judge, Nasution said that he would persist in not attending the court hearings if the injured party is not summoned. 'We want to ensure that these proceedings are open, honest and fair,' he wrote.

Because of the refusal of the defendant to attend, the court did not proceed as scheduled with hearing testimony from five witnesses. The trial was postponed for two weeks to give the prosecutor a chance to get the defendant to attend.

'If the defendant continues to refuse to attend, it is possible, in accordance with the Criminal Procedural Code, for the prosecutor to use force,' presiding judge Suratman said.

Meanwhile, Nasution's lawyers went to the Supreme Court to ask it to intervene in this matter. They were told that the Court could not intervene while the trial is in progress as this might suggest that it was undermining the lower court's independence. If the accused is dissatisfied with the proceedings, this will have to be raised during the appeals process, they were told.