Law enforcers told to investigate light sentence demands for orangutan killers
Activists from the Center for Orangutan Protection protest in front of the Attorney General’s Office in Jakarta on Friday. The protest concerned the low sentence demands for defendants charged with killing orangutans at Tenggarong District Court, Kutai Kartanegara. Prosecutors have sought only one-year prison terms for the four defendants. (Antara/M. Agung Rajasa)
Activists rallied before the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on Friday, urging an investigation into what they called “light charges” for alleged orangutan killers.
The rally was organized following the trial of four PT Khaleda Agroprima Malindo employees who have been charged with capturing and killing orangutans at an oil-palm plantation in Kutai Kertanegara regency.
PT Khaleda Agroprima Malindo is a branch of the Malaysia-based Metro Kajang Holdings Bhd.
“Prosecutors at the Tenggarong District Court only called for each defendant to be imprisoned for one year and a Rp50 million (US$5,453) fine,” said Daniek Hendarto from the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP).
“We consider the prosecutors' sentence demands too light and they would set a bad precedent.”
He added that the defendants should be sentenced up to five years in jail with a Rp100 million fine based on the 1990 Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystems Law.
According to the organization, the killings were the result of company policy, which deemed the orangutans as “pests” to the oil-palm plantation.
Widyoyoko, the AGO’s head of legal counseling, said that his team had received the reports from the protesters. The senior prosecutor added that his office will send letters to the Junior Attorney General for Intelligence and Junior Attorney General for Supervision for further examination.
“We might summon the chief of Tenggarong’s Prosecutor's Office to Jakarta to get his account,” he said. (asa/dic)