Response to Charges Against Major Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi: Unresolved, All Suspects Involved in the Case of Murder and Mutilation Must be Severely Punished

Jakarta, Indonesia, January 25, 2023

On January 24, 2023, the Third High Military Court of Surabaya issued its decision for Case 37-K/PMT.III/AD/XII/2022 concerning defendant Major Inf Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi. The court charged the defendant, who is also commander of the 20th Infantry Brigade/Ima Jaya Keramo Konstrad), with premeditated murder as defined in Article 340 alongside Article 55 Paragraph 1 of KUHP. The defendant is sentenced to life in prison and has been fired from the Indonesian National Armed Forces. The Coalition of Civil Society for Law Enforcement and Human Rights appreciates the verdict of the court.

Essentially, the Third High Military Court of Surabaya, which is led by High Judge Colonel Chk Sultan alongside Judge Kolonel Chk Agus Husin and Judge Kolonel Chk Prastiti Siswayani, issued several decisions of note:

First, elements of a crime of extortion as set forth in the primary indictment from Article 480 alongside Article 55 Paragraph 55 (1) of KUHP is unproven;

Second, elements of a crime of theft with violence as set forth in the subsidiary indictment from Article 365 Paragraph 4 alongside Article 55 Paragraph 1 of KUHP is unproven;

Third, the defendant is legally found to have committed the act of premeditated murder as is defined within Article 340 of KUHP alongside Article 55 Paragraph 1 (Additional Subsidiary Indictment);

Fourth, Article 121 Paragraph 1 of KUHPM is proven/Alternative Indictment;

Fifth, other aggravating issues:

  1. The defendant’s actions were disturbing and traumatized the victims and society;
  2. Damaged relations between the Indonesian National Armed Forces and Papuan society;
  3. Damaged the public image of the Indonesian National Armed Forces; and
  4. The defendant’s actions were sadistic, inhumane, and violated human rights.

Although this decision has not been put into force, the decision has potential to invigorate the Papuan people’s and victims’ families’ fight for justice. This is because the defendant’s punishment is sufficiently severe, and the judges were brave enough to issue a decision unconstrained by the demands of the Military Prosecutor. This issue will certainly set a good precedent considering that violence in the region is ongoing. Specifically, the Indonesian military and police apparatus continue to direct violence at the Papuan people.

Additionally, the high court indicated that the Prosecutor did not pay due attention to the holistic context of the problem in Papua. Throughout the trial, the Prosecutor also appeared half-hearted, as evidenced with their reading of only a 4-year indictment.

The decision of Major Dakhi’s case should be a reference for the 8 other defendants who are still on trial. These 8 defendants include 4 military actors and 4 civil actors. Our coalition will continue monitoring all the steps of the trial so that the families of the victims and Papuan people will receive justice in these cases of murder and mutilation of 4 civilians in Timika, Papua.

Jakarta, January 25, 2023

Civil Society Coalition for Law Enforcement and Human Rights

Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), Association of Human Rights Advocates of Papua (PAHAM), Legal Aid Institute Papua, Legal Aid Institute Kaki Abu, Elsham Papua, Foundation for People’s Heritage, TAPOL, Amnesty International Indonesia, Human Rights Monitor, SOS for the Land of Papua, Kewita Papua, Unified for Truth in the Land of Papua (BUK), and the Democratic Alliance for Papua (ALDP)

Narik Yimin Tabuni (Representative of Families of Victims)

Gustaf Kawer (PAHAM Papua)

Latifah Anum Siregar (ALDP)

Rivanlee Anandar (KontraS)

Emanuel Gobay (LBH Papua)

Matheus Adadikam (Elsham Papua)

Leonard Ijie (LBH Kaki Abu)

Franky Samperante (Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat)

A.S. Adhiati (TAPOL)

Usman Hamid (Amnesty International Indonesia/AII)

Norman Voss (Human Rights Monitor)

Wirya Supriyadi (SOS untuk Tanah Papua)

Tineke Rumkabu (United for Truth in Papua/BUK Papua)

Rosa Moiwen (Kewita Papua)