A Note From the Course of the Trial of Forkorus Cs

Forkorus Cs

Andawat – The trial of Forkorus cs for their subversive actions was finalized last week. Forkorus cs have been declared convincingly guilty by law with 3 years sentence to jail or 2 years fewer than what the General Attorney’s charge. The Lawer Team and General Attorney have filed an appeal for the adjudication pronounced on Wedenesday 16 March 2012. The following is the summary of few major things in the trial of Forkorus cs which was carried out for 13 (thirteen) times in Jayapura Court.

First Part: Controversion of Forkorus cs’ attitudes
In the beginning of the trial process in the court, Forkorus cs had always played his “act”. When he got off from the prisoner car amid the crowd of police officers he yelled “get off my way police or I won’t get off.”

When he entered the court room, Forkorus once chucked out several visitors to the court who were sitting earlier in the visitor’s seats because he suspected them to be undercover officers who were in no uniform. When he was at the defendant chair, he once asked about some people who were bussy photographing from the door where there was the general attorney.”from what press agency are you from? I know about press,”he said.

Such other action was when he rebuked the judge assembly when they read his status of citizenship. It was not only Forkorus but all the defendants said “don’t force us to citizens of Indonesia!” Forkorus even warned the judges when the judges were to read his identity. “Watch it if you mess with my citizenship. At the attorney office we have asked for changing it”.

Forkorus had continuously showed such spontaneity such as he straightly stood up and took the microphone on the general attoney’s table before he was asked to do so. Besides, when he rejected the judges statement when they read out the intermediate decision. “Mam, have you studied about the history of Papua,” he said it to one of the judge member.

Furthermore, his traditional leadership style was strongly made, as a tribal leader. He rebuked the judges, saying “we are the natives, you are stranger. I am the tenth ondoafi (tribal leader), what are you?”

On 17 February 2012 morning, Forkorus cs did not want to attend their trial on the ground of one of the member, Dominikus was sick and had not been taken to hospital. When the general attorney and their lawers visited them in their prison cell at Abepura prison, they said that they would attend the trial only if Dominikus was taken to hospital. So the trial was called off up to the mid day when Dominikus had already been checked at Dian Harapan Hospital, Waena, Jayapura.

At that time Forkorus cs complained the trial procedure which was too long particularly when the general attorney read the list of evidence in detail before carrying witness examination. Chair of the assembly of judge declared that they had the right to carry on the court session without Forkorus presence. Forkorus cs intended at once to leave the court room. The trial became a chaos and was adjourned. After the lawyer team had a discussion with the judges, the session could be resumed.

At that time the news of the relocation of Forkorus cs from Jayapura to Jakarta had been made clearly to public. ”We really welcome the relocation wince it would give more access to foreign media and people to capture the session, we are not afraid!” said Forkorus cs. A meeting was again held among the judges, General Attorney and Forkorus’ lawyer team. The meeting decided that the next session would be on 21 February 2012 which would set the ground for whether relocation could be made.

Forkorus who is a school teacher was very sensitive to questions made by the general attorney to the witnesses. ”just give considerable questions, how pitty are the witnesses. They know nothing”. Also when he refused the presence of the secretary of Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) who gave his witness. ”Were you at the congress?” asked Forkorus on 21 February 2012’s session.

Part Two: Some Statements from the Defendents of KRP III
There were several statements made by Forkorus cs repetitively during the trial process.
First statement, ”we are citizens of Papua Barat of Negroid Melanesians”. Every reading of their status of citizenship, Forkorus cs always protested the judges and general attorney. At the second court session, Forkorus cs carried a banner into the court room, saying ”Don’t force us to be citizens of Indonesia and the same statement was again reconfirmed when the defendant’s plea was pronounced on 9 March 2012.

Second statement. “we are subject to different law and refuse to be judged under Indonesian judicial syste.” This was again confirmed with several of his press conference statements after the court session. The statement then followed by the other statement ’therefore we refuse to be subject to the law and demand Indonesian governemtn to transfer the power to the Federal Republic of Papua Barat.”

Third statement. Forkorus stated he has international lawyers. Such statement at first puzzled some of his lawyer team. On one occasion, during a visit to the prison, Forkorus said that he really appreciate and felt an honor to be assisted by the lawyer team.

What he meant by international lawyer was that the lawyers asked to carry out roles different from what the current lawyers had been doing with the case in Jayapura court. ”We are aware if the fact that we have been assisted by lawyers throughout the court sessions,” Forkorus said at Abepura prison (15/02/2012).

Fourth statement Forkorus made on Declaration. “In the declaration there is no mention of separation, but recovery and restoration of West Papua people’s independence that has been humiliated by Soekarno through the Act of Free Choice”, confirmed Forkorus everytime confronted with the judges in relation to Chapter 106 of the Criminal Code. “There is nothing to do with separation. Where are we heading to, to the sky? This is our land. I am not making a country upon any other country. It is Indonesia which has stood on our country, West Papua. It is Indonesia that has undermined West Papua’s freedom,” part of a plea by Selpius Bobii read on 9 March 2012.

Fifth statement, Forkorus cs had always used the term ‘attack’ against police/military action when they dismissed KRP III on 19 October 2011. According to Forkorus cs, the police/military action was perfectly termed an attack because KRP III had already been concluded 2 hour earlier before the police and military seized into KRP III arena. They chased and captured Papuan people, himself and were the cause of the death of at least 3 (three civilians). The seize was even not initiated by a warning from the police chief, no police warrant to capture and seize.

Part Three: How should the Security system and STTP be?
Forkorus cs, particularly Selvius Bobbi told that in order to obtain STTP for the KRP III, according to Forkorus cs, Papua police had tried to hinder the activity by issuing several requirements for the STTP to be issued.

Against KRP III, government was inconsistent in enforcing the law. If KRP III was prohibited, it indicated that Papua police should have not issued the STTP by reason of the proposition did not come with a consent from the institution of which the place was to be used as the venue for KRP III. The police should have not issued the letter in the first place.

Other strange thing was that when police witness said “If no declaration to make, nothing would happen” on 21 February 2012 session. Other witnesses, on the other occasion, said KRP III was dismissed because it exceeded the time limite. Once again, there should have been resoluteness on the limitation and collective consensus to negotiate an event. The police should formulate and publish the consequence if whether the STTP was issued. This comes to be a great concern so all processes, both of granted and not granted can be put into accountability by respective elements.

That does not mean that since the police did not issue the STTP, the police could then arbitrarily disperse, capture and seize the people without any profen warrant. Even the death and physical lost suffered by the congress participants have not been able to be compensate accountably. This does not reflect the right attitude from the government.

The other question might be did the police already prepare a negotiation team and have worked maximally toward it? Pertanyaannya lainnya apakah polda sejak awal sudah menyiapkan Tim negosiasi dan sudah bekerja maksimal? Is the authority to disperse and seize civilians normally attached to the security warrant?

On the other hand, the dispersion which was done 2 hour after the KRP III held did not in fact prevent felling civilian victim. Such dispersion has created bad image to the institution and increasingly raised Papuan people’s hatred against the government in fact hundreds of people were arrested and tortured at Papua Police headquarter (19-20 October 2012).

Part Four : Court Session on Subversion
Forkorus cs session is one of the range of such sessions against native Papuans who have been accused of subversive actions.

At the beginning there were very few number of people who came to the court because police carried out a very tight security check at Jayapure Court gate. The police required every visitor into the area register his or her name, address, contact number in the provided by the security personnel.

After the first court session on 30 January 2012, AlDP sent a letter of complaint on the necessity to require the visitors to register themselves,”it is not required at any courts to do so, it is very intimidating,” stated in AlDP letter sent to Papua Police Chief.

In the next court session, no registration was made but security check to every visitor was still carried out. The lawyers team again sent a letter and questioned the procedure during the court session. Such security procedure has still been carried on to the civil visitors. In fact, at the last court session of Forkorus cs, police used such guest book to obtain the civil visitors’ identities (16/03/2012).

Approximately there were 12 to 14 billion rupiahs spent by the police to carry out security system at the court derived from local government stability funds. Allegedly, this was suspected to force the court session to be sped up. ”We (Court) does not have any funds to finance the security system, the fund is probably from them, the local government,” said one of the assembly of judges.

There were also military personnel in undercover outfit and some military personnel were also seen around the court room. Besides, the Jayapura district military commander was also seen at almost every court session. The commander had always been seen upstair or in the head of the court’s room, even attending coordinating meeting with the head of the court, general attorney, Jayapura Police Chief and lawyer representatives.

The court session which was started on time at 09.00 easter time, had 30 minute suspension because the general attorney was at times late to pick up the defendants from Abepura prisoner. In addition, the defendants usually had a short prayer before entering the court room. Moreover, the assembly of judges at times were in the court room earlier.

Eventhough the session was massed with security personnel, Forkorus suppertors were also gaining number up to the end of the court session. They were faithfully followed the trial procedure and gave applause when listening to questions raised by Forkorus cs through the court’s loudspeaker.

Part Five: Judge’s Attitude at Trial on Subversion
In fact, particular controversions performed by the defendants at court sessions on subversion was not a new phenomenon. In the Theys H Eluay trial (2001), Theys once had an argument with Roberth Jhonso, (Jayapura police chief at that time). The quarrel was not at the court room, but at the court waiting room.

Theys Eluay cs’ trial was a little different. The trial involved witnesses from both sides along with expert statement, Dr.Muridan Satrio Widjojo from LIPI (The Indonesian Academy of Sciences) and evidence of relevant letters, minutes of local government and security institution as well as bank receipt of transfer of 1 billion rupiahs from the central government to finance Papuan People Conggress III in 2000. This had caused the judge to bring the verdict convincingly and lawfully of subversion but this would not face any punishment since government contributed to the event”.

At the trial of Wamena Military District Command Arsenal break in 2003, the assembly of judges was very repressive which could be as a result of military pressure. Chair of the judges used certain words,”I know everyone outside there are against the government, they are rebels,” said the chair during the trial session in Wamena court.

Or when he said, “ just admit it and I will give you a bonus punishment” without any efforts of proofing whether the defendant was qualified for involvement. In the trial, Linus Hiluka,Kimanus Wenda and Apot Lokobal were granted 20 years sentence while Jafrai Murib and Numbungga Tellenggen were given life sentence.

Similarly, in Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage trial (2005), Yusak had an argument with one of the judges Lakatoni SH. At that time Yusak was in a protest and about to leave the courth room when the judge said ”if you leave, I am going to ask police to shoot you.” Judge Lakoni is strongly linked to beating visitors of the court session, 10 May 2005. Yusak and Filep Karma are undergoing 10 year and 15 year imprisonment.

What the judges said during the court sessions seems to show what the judges believe in bringing a verdict. Likewise, the judges attitudes, particularly chair of the judges in Forkorus trial sessions. The judges at least have imposed their judgement to the defendants of subversion quilty.

The assembly of judges’ attitude was seen different in the beginning up to the middle of court session. In the beginning Forkorus cs indeed performed certain spontaneity like cutting in a talk, standing up and taking over the microphone to talk without any permission which were always responded calmly by the judges. However, in the following court sessions, the judges seemed to run a new strategy to be firm in such actions. In the next court session, there were no more “vacant” microphones at the general attorney’s table, near the defendants’ seat.

Even during the examination of the witnesses, the judges seemed to over control the course of the court session that the court provided a long bench for the defendants rather than a chair for every defendant.” It has been arranged to prevent the defendants throwing chairs,” said a court officer.

By the time the defendants were confronted with the witnesses, chair of the judges at times took over the dialog. ”So, are you still sticking with the indictment?” said the chair to the police witnesses whose statements were rebutted by the defendants.

When the defendants wanted to elaborate in detail, the chair said,”Just say which is right and which is wrong, don’t be too wordy. It can be explained during defendants’ statement.“ Also, when there was an argument between the general attorney and the defendants or the lawyers team, the chair would say,”It doesn’t have to be pushed, it should be respective statement”. This ended the argument among the general attorney, the defendants and the lawyer team.

In a particular moment, the judges seemed to give rooms for the general attorney, lawyer team and the defendants where at the same time they tried to manage the court session quickly and firmly. When the judges returned the verdict, the chair of judges closed the court session right away after pronouncing the punishment.

The trial of Forkorus cs at last could be completed in short time, not more that 1.5 month with 13 court sessions led by 5 judges. The trial which was filled with certain chaotic situation and planned to be relocated could be ended peacefully. We thank to you all: the assembly of judges, lawyer teams, the defendants, the general attorney, security personnel, and civil society. We would like to express our deep gratitude to God the Almighty. (Andawat/ALDP)