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Jakarta Post

Court rejects Ravio Patra's pretrial motion despite claims of irregularities

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 15, 2020   /   05:20 pm
Court rejects Ravio Patra's pretrial motion despite claims of irregularities Independent researcher and government critic Ravio Patra (second right) attends a hearing at the South Jakarta District Court on July 14 on the pretrial motion against the Jakarta Police over his arrest. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The South Jakarta District Court has rejected a pretrial motion filed by Ravio Patra, an independent researcher and government critic, against the Jakarta Police and its move to detain and accuse him of inciting riots through a WhatsApp message following an alleged hacking of his account.

Ravio's lawyer Aprilia Lisa Tengker said the sole judge handling the pretrial, Nazar Effriadi, had rejected all motions filed by the plaintiff during a hearing on Tuesday, arguing that all evidence had proven that the police committed no legal violations during the arrest in April.

"The judge maintained that all warrants for the arrest and raid presented by the police during the legal proceedings were sufficient to prove formal compliance," Aprilia said on Wednesday.

Despite the ruling, she added her team had noticed several irregularities in the evidence presented by the police.

Aprilia claimed that the names of investigators assigned to Ravio’s case in the investigation warrant and differed from those in the letter of assignment. She also said the police had not presented any report on the confiscation of Ravio’s belongings. Ravio previously said that police officers had seized his two mobile phones and two laptops.

Article 38 of the Criminal Law Procedures Code requires investigators to obtain a letter of approval from the local district court to confiscate any evidence. In urgent cases, they are allowed to confiscate evidence without prior approval but are still required to report this and request a warrant from the local district court.

"The judge did not check the administrative aspects of the letter," said Aprilia.

Read also: The curious case of Ravio Patra: Why Indonesian cyberspace is a dystopian nightmare

She went on to say that judge Nazar had "constantly pushed for reconciliation" at least 28 times during the pretrial process. "That was a code of ethics violation, because the judge promoted something outside his authority."

Ravio was arrested on April 22 around Menteng, Central Jakarta, by "unidentified men" while he had been on his way to a "safe house" around midnight, a few hours after his WhatsApp account had returned to normal after what Ravio’s side described as a hacking attack.

Using Ravio's WhatsApp account, the hacker reportedly spread a message calling for nationwide looting on April 30.

Ravio previously likened the arrest to a kidnapping, since the men that told him to come with them wore neither uniforms nor presented police identification.

Aprilia went on to say that Ravio's legal team would focus on his police report filed over the alleged hacking, but she said police had made no progress in the case.

Lawyer Alghifari Aqsa, another member of Ravio's legal team, urged the police to quickly solve the alleged hacking case and highlighted the swift law enforcement response in handling alleged theft of author Denny Siregar's personal data.

On July 5, Denny's personal data was leaked on Twitter by a user under the handle @opposite6891. Police arrested 27-year-old FPH, who was suspected of leaking Denny's data through Twitter on July 9, following a police report filed by telecommunication operator Telkomsel.

"We ask the police to provide the same treatment," said Alghifari.

The Jakarta Police was not immediately available for comment at the time of writing.