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Jakarta Post

19 district heads in Papua sentenced to six months’ probation

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura, Papua   /   Wed, April 26, 2017   /   06:50 pm
19 district heads in Papua sentenced to six months’ probation Cast your vote: Election day at Dikiyouwa village, Kamu district, Dogiyai, Papua. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

The Jayapura District Court has sentenced 19 district heads from Jayapura regency, Papua, to six months’ probation for election violations.

The judges read out the sentence in a hearing on Tuesday, during which the court also ordered the defendants to pay Rp 600 million (US$45,146) in fines.

Presiding judge Sarifuddin said the 19 district heads joining with the Jayapura regency’s District Heads Association were guilty of rejecting a re-vote. In so doing, they violated Article 188 of Law No.11/2015 on the home ministry, Article 71 of Law No.10/2016 on regional elections and Article 55 of the Criminal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

“The 19 district heads are legally and convincingly guilty of committing a crime by intentionally making a joint decision that benefited one of the Jayapura regent and deputy regent candidate pairs,” said Sarifuddin, accompanied by two panel members, Abdul Gafar Bungin and Lidya Awinero.

Should the 19 district heads violate the probation, they will be sentenced to three months in prison.

The 19 district heads made a decree to reject a re-vote at 229 polling stations in 17 districts across Jayapura regency. The Jayapura Elections Supervisory Committee demanded the re-vote, claiming that it had found that 788 Polling Station Working Committee officials had been replaced without the consent of the Jayapura General Elections Commission.

Gustav Kawer, a lawyer for the district heads, said he would talk with his clients about whether they would accept the ruling or file an appeal. (ebf)