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Jakarta Post

Supreme Court raises prison term for Polish man over treason, link with Papuan rebels

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 18, 2019   /   07:15 pm
Supreme Court raises prison term for Polish man over treason, link with Papuan rebels The Supreme Court building in Central Jakarta. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court/-)

The Supreme Court has increased the prison sentence of Jakub Fabian Skrzypski, a Polish national and reportedly the first foreigner convicted of treason in Indonesia, to seven years in prison for his role in assisting a separatist group in Papua.

The sentence given by the country’s highest court is two years longer than the five-year sentence handed down in May by the Wamena District Court in Papua, which found Skrzypski guilty of treason for his involvement in a plot to overthrow the Indonesian government and making contact with a rebel group in Papua.

“The Supreme Court sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment, while the Wamena District Court [sentenced him to] only five years,” the district court’s crime unit head, Richarda Arsenius, said as quoted by Antara.

In response to the matter, Papua’s Jayawijaya Police chief Adj. Comr. Suheriadi said they coordinated closely with the Jayawijaya Prosecutor’s Office to follow up on the Supreme Court’s verdict.

“Now that the final decision has been made, the prosecutor’s office has the authority to execute the verdict by relocating [Skrzypski] from the detention center at the Jayawijaya Police headquarters to Wamena prison,” he said.

“If [Skrzypski’s] lawyer, family or [the Polish] consulate would like to relocate him, they must send an official letter to the Law and Human Rights Regional Office.”

Throughout his stay at the detention center, Skrzypski reportedly never encountered health problems because he was examined on a daily basis by health officers at the police’s medical center.

Skrzypski was arrested at Habema Lake in Jayawijaya in August last year, according to the police. The 39-year-old was found with documents and video detailing the Papuan struggle for independence. 

He and his lawyer, Latifah Anum Siregar – who previously said his client was the first foreigner convicted of treason – denied all wrongdoing while the prosecutors accused him of having met with leaders of the Free Papua Organization (OPM). 

Latifah said the Supreme Court’s verdict was “too heavy”. She and Skrzypski are currently discussing the next steps, including the possibility of filing a judicial review to challenge the top court’s ruling, which means it must find evidence of legal flaws made by the court.

"Skrzypski has rejected the accusations from the beginning," Latifah said as quoted by the AFP.

The European Parliament described the Polish man as a political prisoner and called for his transfer back to his home country.

The country’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua have long been dealing with the separatist movement, which the Indonesian government routinely blames as being as the actor behind various cases of violent unrest in the restive region. (vla)