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Chief judge makes sexist comments at Haris Azhar's trial, Judicial Commission reacts

Tempo - June 9, 2023

Desty Luthfiani, Jakarta – Judicial Commission spokesperson Miko Ginting responded to the incident of Chief Judge Cokorda Gede Arthana making sexist comments during the trial of the alleged defamation case against Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti on Thursday, June 8.

Cokorda uttered sexist statements at one of the lawyers of the two activists when Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan took the witness stand as the plaintiff.

"The Judicial Commission expects the panel of judges to examine and try this case by referring to the code of ethics and code of conduct for judges. It can take many forms, one of them is being able to refrain from saying sexist and misogynistic words," Miko told Tempo on Friday, June 9.

The trial of the alleged defamation case with the defendants Haris and Fatia was held again at the East Jakarta District Court on Thursday, June 8, 2023. The agenda was the examination of witnesses, including Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

At the trial, Cokorda asked one of Haris-Fatia's attorneys to speak louder and clearer. "You sound like a woman," he said, followed by protests from the attorneys and audience.

The Judicial Commission, Miko emphasized, is directly monitoring the trial process to maintain the independence and accountability of judges. The trial commission recorded all the attitudes, words, and behavior of the judges. "What is certain is that judges should really maintain a code of ethics and code of conduct in presiding over trials," he said.

According to Miko, the Judicial Commission will keep monitoring the defamation trial and the results will be followed up after the trial ends.

Lawyers representing Haris and Fatia immediately slammed Cokorda's sexist statement. "I object if the assembly says so. Please revoke the statement that [a lawyer's] voice is like a woman," one of the lawyers underlined.

Haris looked angry, stood up, and said "Don't use a woman to describe something weak."

The legal team of Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti asked Chief Judge Cokorda Gede Arthana to revoke the statement. Otherwise, they will file a report regarding alleged violations of the code of ethics.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1735418/chief-judge-makes-sexist-comments-at-haris-azhars-trial-judicial-commission-react