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Court rejects civil suit against House over pornography bill

Detik.com - April 11, 2007

Rafiqa Qurrata A, Jakarta – A panel of judges has rejected a civil suit by the Unity in Diversity Alliance (ABTI) led by Ratna Sarumpaet against the House of Representatives (DPR) in relation to the Draft Law on Pornography and Porno-Action.

Ratna is clearly disappointed and intends to appeal. “The panel of judges agrees with the defendant’s demurrer and declares that it does not have the authority to try this case, so the examination will not continue”, said presiding judge Aman Barus at the Central Jakarta District Court on Jl. Gadjah Mada on Wednesday April 11.

The panel of judges said that they considered the DPR’s actions in presenting and proposing the draft law are in accordance with its function as a legislative institution. In addition to this, the panel of judges said that if the DPR were sued then the legislation of laws would be obstructed. “This could have the consequence of disrupting legal reform”, said Barus.

Responding to the judge’s statement Ratna admitted to feeling disappointed. “We will most certainly appeal, if they continue and ratify the draft law there is still the Constitutional Court”, said Ratna. In Ratna’s eyes the judges’ verdict was as if they were looking for a way out. “It appears that the judges did not want to be concerned with the affairs of the DPR”, she said.

Following the hearing some 40 ABTI members held a demonstration and unfurled a banner in front of the court house reading “As pornographic as pornography is the draft porno law is more pornographic”, and “The draft porno law divides the people”. (umi/nrl)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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