Subject: Coalition of organisations demand the release of Sabar Olif Iwaanggin

September 16, 2008


The law enforcement authorities in the 'terror SMS' case against Sabar Olif Iwanggin have been responsible for a number of irregularities, signifying that they have acted on the principle 'arrest him first, then get him to confess by whatever means necessary'.

The irregularities were as follows: He was arrested by a joint team of the criminal unit of the Papua Police, the Chief of Police and the Special Detachment-88. He was arrested without a clearly stated reason and without an arrest warrant. He was interrogated without beeing accompanied by legal counsel, he was forced to admit to being the sender of the terror SMS, and he was transferred from the the local police to police headquarters in Jakarta where he was held for one week.

While in the hands of the prosecution authorities, the charge sheet against him was very unclear: for instance, it mentioned the transaction of the SMS from the accused to persons whom he knew but there was no explanation as to how this took place. The charge sheet does not explain the connection between the accused's sending of the SMS and the anarchistic activities which occurred, and whether these the people who received the SMS received it from Iwanggin or not. As such, the charge sheet fails to comply with the requirements of the law which means that the charge sheet should be declared null and void.

During his interrogation in court, his legal counsel drew attention to these irregularities and the weak nature of the charge sheet, but the judge handling the case made no response to this. The investigation of the case took ten months, thereby violating court principles of the need for speed.

During the court hearing, testimony from nine witnesses presented by the prosecutor was not in any way directed towards the SMS which had been sent on by the accused HP. This means that it will be difficult for the prosecutor to formulate the charges and will mean that more witnesses will need to be summoned, namely by the police who first interrogated him, which the judges then agreed to.

The decision of the judges to allow the prosecutor to bring two more witnesses in order to strengthen the case against the accused is in clear breach of the Procedural Code.

Furthermore, questioning of these witnesses failed to show that the accused was the person who circulated the so-called 'terror SMS'. Thereafter, the prosecutor wanted to read in court a statement by an expert witness but this was rejected by the accused and his lawyers because there would be no way for its factual accuracy to be tested in court.

In view of all these irregularities, this Coalition of Civil Society hereby state as follows:

We urge the Court now hearing Case No 458/Pid.B/2007/PN-JPR to release Sabar Olif Iwanggin and order the police to find the person who really sent the 'terror SMS'.

KPKC of the GKI Synode of Papua, The Catholic Bishopric of Jayapura, FOKER of NGOs in Papua, Kontras Papua, LP3A Papua.

Distributed by Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of Violence, Kontras Papua.

see also Letter to Secretary of State Rice on Iwanggin Sabar Olif (October 31, 2007)


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