Tue, 25 Oct 1994

George's questioning completed

YOGYAKARTA (JP): The authorities yesterday completed questioning intellectual George Junus Aditjondro, whom they are charging with defaming the government.

Wearing thongs and accompanied by his lawyers from the local chapter of Legal Aid Institute (LBH), he was questioned from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

He complained of fever due to an infection on his toe but was able to answer 49 questions posted by his investigators, his lawyers said.

George is suspected of making harsh remarks about Indonesia's political and economic systems during a seminar on growth of democracy at the Indonesian Islamic University.

He discussed papers presented by Gen. (ret) Sumitro, a former chief of the internal security agency and Rudini, a former minister of home affairs, in August.

His lawyer said many of yesterday's questions revolved around his critical remarks about the political system. The investigators replayed his taped statement from the seminar that the general elections are undemocratic.

Lawyer Artijo Alkostar claimed that he had convinced the investigators that George did not insult the government in a public place as they charge.

"A seminar is not a public place because the participants are a selected audience," he said. "It's difficult to categorize if a criticism is the same as insulting," he added.

He said he proposed that the police also question six people in George's favor, including Rudini and Sumitro.

If convicted, the academic from the Salatiga-based Satya Wacana Christian University faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail.

Last week, George's questioning was adjourned after his blood pressure rose while answering 16 of the 50 questions the authorities had already prepared. (r. fadjri/pan)