TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Investigation team to reveal 'real cause' of environmental lawyer’s death

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Thu, October 17, 2019   /   07:08 am
Investigation team to reveal 'real cause' of environmental lawyer’s death Environmentalists, some dressed in animal costumes and face paint, stage a peaceful rally in Medan, North Sumatra to mark World Environment Day. (JP/Apriadi Gunawan)

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has formed an investigation team to collect facts to reveal the cause of death of their lawyer Golfried Siregar in Medan, North Sumatra earlier this month, as the police concluded that he had been robbed and that the victim was under the influence of alcohol.

Golfried lost contact with his family two weeks ago and was found severely injured on the side of the Simpang Pos Padang Bulan overpass. He died at Adam Malik Hospital in Medan on Oct. 6.

North Sumatra Walhi director, Dana Prima Tarigan, said the investigation was formed to reveal a number of gaffes in the case that were not transparently discussed by the police.

“We want to reveal what happened before Golfried was found unconscious,” Dana told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The fact collecting team consists of 18 people from Walhi, the Legal Aid Institute (LBH), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Indonesian Advocates Association (Peradi). 

Dana said the team would submit the investigation result to the North Sumatra Police as a comparison to the police’s investigation result. The team will also submit the work result to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

Dana said the only witnesses interrogated by the police so far were people who knew about the events after Golfried was found unconscious, not those who knew what happened before the lawyer was found. 

Unfortunately, the police quickly concluded that Golfried was involved in a single accident, Dana said.

“We doubt their conclusion. Because so far no excessive blood trail has been found at the accident site. The wounds on the victim’s body, especially the black eye, also do not show signs of a [traffic] accident,” he added.

Dana expects the police to continue their investigation by forming an independent fact-finding team so that Golfried’s death can be revealed transparently and there would be no mistrust among society.

North Sumatra Police violence division head Adj. Sr. Comr. Maringan Simanjuntak said the police were still investigating the case. Maringan said his division’s focus was to capture two suspects who had allegedly robbed the victim.

“We are still after the two people. They are suspected of stealing the victim’s property,” Maringan said on Wednesday.

Maringan said five people were suspected of robbing the victim while he was unconscious in the street. Three of them have been arrested while two others are still at large.

Last week, the North Sumatra Police announced that the death was allegedly caused by a single traffic accident.

North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Agus Andrianto said the victim was under the influence of alcohol, proven by a trace of alcohol in his stomach.

Agus added that the cause of the victim’s death was also determined by the way the victim fell on the roadside. Golfried allegedly fell to the right hitting the sidewalk. This can be concluded from the victim’s wounds that are located only on the right side, Agus said.

“When found unconscious, the victim’s position was diagonal. The right side of his head and right cheek, were on the asphalt and there was blood present. His motorcycle was found in front of him,” Agus said.

Medan Police traffic accident unit head Adj. Sr. Comr. Juliani, said that besides sustaining many wounds on the right side of his body from head to toe, the victim’s motorcycle was heavily damaged in such a way that was consistent with a traffic accident. According to Juliani, the right indicator and the right handlebar were broken. 

Juliani said the vehicle's shock absorber was broken on the right side, while its left side had no scratch.

“These facts show that the impact happened only on the right side, which hit the sidewalk and made him lose his balance and fall to the right side as the vehicle shows no scratch on the left side,” Juliani said. (gis)