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Jakarta Post

Singaporean sea captain stands trial for alleged immigration violation

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam   /   Wed, October 5, 2016   /  06:42 am
Singaporean sea captain stands trial for alleged immigration violation MV Selin captain Shoo Chiau Huat (second left) talks to his lawyer assisted by an interpreter. Shoo is standing trial for immigration violation charges. (JP/Fadli)

Tanjung Pinang District Court held the second hearing Tuesday on Shoo Chiau Huat, 50, the captain of the MV Selin, a Singaporean vessel, for allegedly entering Indonesian territory without a permit.

Singaporean government has sent several diplomatic notes to Indonesia in relation to their detained citizen but Indonesia has gone on with the trial.

Shoo’s lawyer Herman Black said Tuesday the hearing was to listen to the prosecutors’ charges for allegedly violating immigration law.

A pretrial motion had been submitted but was denied in early September.

“I think my client is cornered. I’m concerned,” he said.

Shoo’s vessel was caught by Indonesian Navy in April in Bintan waters. The Singaporean vessel was carrying 13 tourists from Singapore and Malaysia and the captain argued it was a tourist angler vessel. The immigration office deported the tourists and detained the captain.

In the beginning the charges were for illegal fishing but Tanjung Pinang District Court acquitted Shoo in July. But he was yet able to walk free because the Indonesian government detained him again, this time for the alleged immigration violation.

The head of Law and Human Rights Ministry’s regional office in Batam, Ohan Suryana, said Tuesday the Singaporean government had sent diplomatic notes protesting Indonesia’s handling of the case.

“Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore [I Gede Ngurah Swajaya] came to Tanjung Pinang especially to send the diplomatic notes, containing protests, but I have explained that the case is continuing,” he said.

Read also: Ambassador to S'pore denies coming to Tj. Pinang to send diplomatic notes

Ohan said the Foreign Ministry wanted him to only be deported but he insisted the trial must go on.

Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore I Gede Ngurah Swajaya denied visiting the head of Law and Human Rights Ministry’s regional office in Tanjung Pinang, Ohan Suryana, to give a diplomatic note from the Singaporean government on the arrest of captain Shoo Chiau Huat of the Singaporean vessel MV Selin.

Swajaya said on Tuesday he did not come to Tanjung Pinang to give a diplomatic note about Shoo.

“I didn’t discuss the diplomatic note, but I was asking about the latest update in the legal status and process related to [Shoo], who had been detained in the immigration office’s detention center,” Swajaya said. (evi)

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a statement from Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore I Gede Ngurah Swajaya, who denied Ohan Suryana’s statement. Swajaya said he did not visit Tanjung Pinang to deliver a diplomatic note concerning the MV Selin’s captain, Shoo Chiau Huat.