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Jakarta Post

‘Unfriending’ the environment

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Tue, June 21 2016   /  07:26 am

Enforcement of the law against those committing environmental crimes in this country has proved to fail as a deterrent. A series of trials of corporations held responsible for devastating and widespread forest and land fires last year ended in an anticlimax, sending the worrying message that burning forests is permissible.

The recent acquittal of Frans Katihokang, the operations manager of PT Langgam Inti Hibrindo, a palm oil company operating in the Riau regency of Pelalawan, is just another major blow to the country’s bid to cut the cycle of forest fires that have caused environmental damaging affecting not only millions of Indonesian citizens, but also people in neighboring states.

In its verdict read out in the evening of June 9, the panel of judges found that state prosecutors had failed to provide sufficient evidence to charge the defendant with negligence resulting...