Sebby Sambom isolated like a terrorist

Report from the Christian Evangelical Church in the Land of Papua
Sebby Sambom isolated like a terrorist

Abridged translations of the following items are by TAPOL

Besides Buchtar Tabuni, another Papuan has been charged with subversion. The second hearing of his case took place on 13 May at the Jayapura district court, to hear the demurrer (eksepsi) from his legal team. They described the charge sheet from the prosecutor as lacking in clarity and incorrect.

They also argued that allegations of subversion on the grounds that the accused had joined together with a hundred people fails to meet allegations of subversion. According to the law, these actions were legal because what they were doing was to express their opinions in public. Sebby was simply making his views known in public and this cannot be described as subversion.

Sebby presented an eight-page demurrer entitled 'The Reference of Laws'. He drew attention to three aspects of the way he had been arrested and detained, stating that it was a premature action while the police of Papua handled the demonstration in a 'childish' way.

He also told the court that his treatment was incorrect because he had been held in isolation. 'Physically, I appear to be healthy but psychologically I am unwell because I have been treated like a terrorist. Every week I have been interrogated two or three times by the police.'

However, neither the judges nor the prosecutor responded to his explanation.

The lawyer acting for Sebby, Petrus Eli, SH, asked the court and the prosecutor to have the accused transferred to Abepura Prison, in order to facilitate communications with his client, and to comply with his rights as a detainee. The prosecutor told the court that the accused should remain in custody at the police command. saying that this would make it easier to escort him to future court sessions.

Faced with these contradictory requests, the judge asked the legal team of the accused and the prosecutor to submit their opinions in writing.

The next hearing will take place on 20 May to hear the prosecutor's response to the demurrer of the defence.

On 20 May, the prosecutor told the court that he rejects the demurrer and asked the court to proceed with the trial, saying that the charge sheet had been written clearly, in accordance with Article 143 of the Criminal Code. He also described the demurrer as being confused. He referred to Article 87 of the Criminal Code which states: 'Subversion is an act taken with the aim of initiating an incident as defined in Article 53 of the Criminal Code. And moreover with the qualification that the accused is involved as a participant in an act of subversion.'

The judges' panel said that it was now the turn of the judges to consider the views presented by the prosecutor and take a decision on the matter

The next hearing of the trial will be held on 3 June.