APSN Banner

Pakpahan falls ill, court hearing stopped

Tapol - October 12, 1997

[Media Indonesia, 10 October 1997, Summary only]

The trial of Muchtar Pakpahan, chairperson of the Indonesian Prosperity Trade Union, the SBSI, was halted Thursday when the defendant was unable to continue because of ill health. [The report does not explain what exactly happened in the courtroom.] The presiding-judge announced that the hearing would be postponed till next week.

The defendant collapsed as a witness named Tumpal was being examined about the book, Portrait of Indonesia by Pakpahan, which was published in 1996. The author states in the book that a referendum should be held in East Timor to determine whether the people want independence or integration. These remarks about East Timor have been a main focus throughout the court hearings.

The witness told the court that as far as he knew, the book had never been banned by the authorities which is why he went ahead with printing a second edition. It would have been easy for his company to be informed of any ban as its address is clearly stated in the book.

Two other witnesses, Mulyono, Pakpahan's personal assistant, and Budi Susilo from the SBSI in Lampung both told the court they did not know what Pakpahan had said when he spoke at the free-speech forum at the headquarters of the PDI before the premises were raided by the police on 27 July last year.