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Attorney general to appeal guilty verdict over statement on Semanggi tragedies

Jakarta Post - November 5, 2020

Jakarta – Attorney General ST Burhanuddin is set to file an appeal against a court verdict pertaining to a lawsuit filed by family members Semanggi victims over his statement that the tragedies were not gross human rights violations.

"What is certain is that there will be legal remedies," Attorney General's Office (AGO) spokesperson Hari Setiyono said in a written statement on Wednesday.

The State Attorney's Office respected the ruling issued by the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN), Hari said, but there were things deemed "inaccurate" that needed to be cleared up.

"The JPN team as [Burhanuddin's] lawyer will study the verdict," he said as quoted by kompas.com.

In a controversial remark conveyed during a hearing with the House of Representatives on Jan. 16, Burhanuddin said a previous House plenary meeting had "concluded that the events [Semanggi tragedies] were not gross human rights abuses".

Plaintiffs Maria Katarina Sumarsih and Ho Kim Ngo, mothers of victims of the Semanggi I and II tragedies, filed a lawsuit with the PTUN Jakarta in May. They were represented by lawyers from the Semanggi I and II Justice Coalition.

The PTUN granted the lawsuit, saying that there was a substantial flaw in Burhanuddin's statement and concluded his action as an "act against the law" committed by a government official.

The judges required him to immediately make a statement in his next meeting with the House that the Semanggi tragedies were serious human rights violations based on the result of an investigation by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) chairwoman Asfinawati argued that the attorney general's plan to file an appeal showed a lack of commitment to resolve gross human rights violations.

"In fact, the attorney general himself is blocking the completion of the case. His superior, President [Joko Widodo], should stop this appeal plan and order the attorney general to continue the case," Asfinawati told tempo.co on Thursday.

This situation made it even clearer to the people that the government's campaign promises in solving gross human rights violations had not been fulfilled, she added. (syk)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/11/05/attorney-general-to-appeal-guilty-verdict-over-statement-on-semanggi-tragedies.htm