Jakarta – The South Jakarta District Court dismissed on Tuesday the lawsuit of four former buskers seeking financial compensation for wrongful arrest and false accusation in connection with a murder case in 2013.
The court – the same one that had issued a guilty verdict in the original trial – dismissed the lawsuit, saying that plaintiffs Fikri Pribadi, Fatahillah, Arga Putra Samosir and Bagus Firdaus had initiated the lawsuit more than three months after the Supreme Court had acquitted them on appeal.
Each of the four sought Rp 750.9 million (US$53,536) in financial compensation for wrongful arrest and false accusation. The plaintiffs also claimed that they were tortured while in police custody, and demanded an apology from the police and prosecutors for what they had endured.
Head judge Elfian, who presided over the hearing, said that the plaintiffs' legal counsel had received a copy of the Supreme Court decision to acquit the four on March 11, 2016, but did not file the lawsuit within three months of the decision.
"A lawsuit requesting financial compensation [...] may be submitted only within a period of three months following the court decision," Elfian said on reading out the ruling. "The court denies the request," he concluded.
Oky Wiratama Siagian of he Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), who has been advocating on behalf of the four plaintiffs, rejected the court's decision, saying that the four men were still eligible to initiate the lawsuit because they had received a copy of the Supreme Court's decision only this March.
"We plan to file a complaint with the Supreme Court over the [South Jakarta District Court] judge's decision," Oky told reporters after the hearing.
The four men were named suspects and accused of murdering 18-year-old street busker Dicky Maulana in Cipulir, South Jakarta, in July 2013. The four were also buskers at the time of their arrest. The South Jakarta District Court found the four guilty of the crime and sentenced Fikri to four years in prison, while Fatahillah, Arga and Bagus each received three years in prison.
In 2015, the Supreme Court overturned the district court's verdict and acquitted them of the crime. (das/bbn)