National

Judicial Commission tells
Garuda to pay

Indonesia’s Judicial Commission has urged flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia to comply with a Supreme Court verdict ordering the payment of compensation to Suciwati, the widow of slain human rights activist Munir Said Thalib.

“If Garuda complies with the court’s order, not only it will abide by the law, it will also strengthen the public’s trust,” the commission’s deputy chairman Iman Anshori Saleh said, as quoted by Tempointeraktif.com.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by Garuda over the case surrounding the murder of Munir. In its verdict, issued on Jan. 28, 2010, Garuda was ordered to pay Suciwati a sum of money much higher than the Rp 600 million (US$67,800) ruled by a lower court.

The actual amount stated by the court has not been disclosed.

Munir died onboard a Garuda flight to Amsterdam in 2004 from arsenic poisoning.

Suciwati filed a civil case two years later against the airline and several of its officials. In July 2007, the Central Jakarta District Court ruled that Garuda’s former president director Indra Setiawan and the flight captain Pantun Matondang were negligent for failing to perform an emergency landing when Munir required medical attention.

The court ordered Garuda, along with other defendants, to pay Rp 600 million in compensation. The decision was upheld by the Jakarta High Court in December 2007.

Iman said the Supreme Court had reached the appropriate verdict because it was obligatory for an airline to take full responsibility for its passengers, including in cases of accidents, illness and even murder.

“No matter what the cause of Munir’s death is, Garuda must accept the verdict,” he said.

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