The First Witness Examination Session of the Human Rights Court on the 2014 Paniai Incident: Zero Professionalism and Partisanship of the Prosecutor

The second trial of the Human Rights Court on the 2014 Paniai Incident was held at the Makassar District Court on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. The agenda for this trial was to examine witnesses, but it was not optimal. Of the 12 witnesses requested by the Public Prosecutor’s Team to be examined. Only four witnesses with a police background were present, and not a single witness with a civilian background was present. The trial was also delayed because copies of the case files, including the Minutes of the Examination of the witnesses, had not been received by the defendant and his legal advisers. This fact further shows the level of seriousness of the Attorney General’s Office, which is questionable.

After submitting the indictment, which was obscured from the context of the incident and the concept of gross human rights violation before the sole defendant and his legal advisor at the initial trial. We consider that the Public Prosecutor’s Team did not optimally try to prove the systematic or widespread element which is an essential element of the article on crimes against humanity regulated in Article 9 of Law 26/2000 on the Human Rights Court. Both from the indictment and the examination of witnesses at the second trial, there was no comprehensive discussion regarding Safe Operation Matoa V, which was one of the backgrounds of the events in the Komnas HAM Investigation Report.

The identity of the witnesses presented, all of whom were members of the police, and the failure of the Public Prosecutor’s Team to present civilian witnesses also caused the second trial to be dominated by the narrative of the apparatus. The narrative, which is a somewhat prominent part of the indictment of the Public Prosecution Team, can also show the government’s position and side about gross human rights violations. Whereas human rights violations require the involvement or at least the omission of the state, the efforts to correct and evaluate a state agency by the Attorney General’s Office (which is also a representative of the state through one of the legitimate means, namely investigation to prosecution in court) are not running optimally. This is not a matter of disarming the state’s power, but of demanding individual accountability for gross human rights violators.

If the Public Prosecutor’s Team does not present at the subsequent trial until the opportunity for the examination of the last witness, the civilian element is not presented, the indictment and testimony of the witness that contradicts the witness of the victim will be the next injustice for the survivors and the families of the victims. The indictment and testimony of witnesses from the Police cornered the mass action at Karel Gobay Square on December 8, 2014, who wanted to demand accountability for the persecution that occurred at Pondok Natal on December 7, 2014. The trial also did not explore much of the actus reus committed by the defendant and the TNI and Polri in both incidents.

From the trial of this witness examination, it was revealed that the testimonies of 2 actors who were directly involved in the 2014 Paniai incident. TNI) who stabbed the victim to death. Armed with this testimony and also the identification of the perpetrators by Komnas HAM, namely field actors, policy-making commands, effective commandos in the field, and perpetrators of neglect, the reasons for the Attorney General’s Office and the Courts are more vital not only to process one person as a perpetrator.

Because of our findings and notes above, the 2014 Paniai Civil Society Monitoring Coalition states:

  1. The Attorney General’s Office is not serious and does not show partiality to the victims and the public for the gross human rights violations that occurred in the 2014 Paniai incident.
  2. The Human Rights Court must dig up facts from parties other than the narrative developed from the witnesses presented by the Public Prosecution Team.
  3. The Human Rights Court must follow up on testimonies that mention the names of other alleged perpetrators to be examined and held accountable.


2014 Paniai Monitoring Coalition

28 September 2022