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Jakarta court rejects Papuan students' pretrial motion despite claims of legal violations

Tabloid JUBI - April 22, 2021

Arjuna Pademme, Jayapura – The South Jakarta District Court has rejected a pretrial motion filed by two Papuan student activists accused of robbery, Ruland Rudolof Karafir and Finakat Molama, against the Jakarta Police for its alleged legal violations during the arrest

Michael Himan of the Papua Advocacy Team, Karafir and Molama's lawyer, said the sole judge had rejected all motions filed by the plaintiff during a hearing on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, arguing that all evidence was sufficient to prove formal compliance by the police.

The judge's ruling, said Himan, had failed to adhere to the Joint Decrees of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court No. 47/2009 and the Judicial Commission Chairman No. 02/2009 on Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct of Judges, in which judge's decisions must be based on not only regulations but also justice and wisdom in society, and judges are required to "avoid blunders in making verdicts or ignore facts".

"The judge's decision has ignored facts and does not reflect the honor of a judge who should make judgments by reflecting justice and wisdom," Himan said in a written statement received by Jubi on Wednesday.

"The judge considered the arrest legal based on several documentary evidence submitted by the police but did not count the fact that the police only came up with one evidence when detaining the plaintiff. The police even asked the plaintiff about other witnesses," he said.

Himan further said that the judge ignored the witness testimony submitted by the legal team.

During the trial, the witness presented stated that the police arrested Karafir and Molama without a warrant.

Moreover, the police had never examined the two suspects prior to the naming of the suspects. Both students claimed they had never received any letter of investigation up until now.

The judge also approved the confiscation of the plaintiff's belongings, arguing the police had returned the goods and there was a letter of approval to confiscate evidence. Himan said, however, that the letter of approval only came a week after the confiscation.

The Papua Advocacy Team urges the panel of judges at the South Jakarta District Court to examine the case objectively and truthfully by considering various evidence presented. It also demands the Supreme Court and the Judicial Commission to monitor cases in which freedom of expression is threatened, as well as the Jakarta Police to stop criminalize Papuan students and silence their voice.

Previously, Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) Central Committee head John Gobay demanded the police to immediately exempt Karafir and Molama and stop the legal proceedings. Both students are part of the AMP Central Committee.

"The police has failed to comply with the law during the arrest. Without a warrant, the police handcuffed and took them at dawn," Gobay told Jubi on March 5, 2021. He warned that unlawful arrests could turn to psychological terror against Papuan students studying in Jakarta.

The Jakarta Police arrested Karafir on March 3 and Molama on March 4, 2021. They were charged under Article 365 of the Criminal Code on violent theft, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 years imprisonment.

Source: https://en.jubi.co.id/jakarta-court-rejects-papuan-students-pretrial-motion