Wed, 24 Jul 1996

Judges overrule Oki, trial to proceed

JAKARTA (JP): The team of judges trying Harnoko Dewantono, alias Oki, the alleged killer of three people in Los Angeles, U.S., overruled the rebuttal of the defendant's lawyers yesterday and decided to proceed with the full trial.

According to presiding judge IGK Sukarata, who gave his intermediate decision in the Central Jakarta District Court, the defendant's rebuttal was overruled because it included irrelevant material.

He agreed with the prosecutors' reply to the defendant's rebuttal.

He referred to Article 156(1) of the Criminal Code Procedure about the material that should be included in a rebuttal. The article says that a rebuttal only covers three things; the court's jurisdiction to process a case, unacceptable indictments and the cancellation of an indictment dossier.

"It is surely in the court's jurisdiction to process the case because all Indonesians are subject to Indonesian Law, which means all Indonesians who commit crimes anywhere in the world are subject to Indonesian law," he said, referring to Article 5(1) of the Criminal Code and Article 86 of the Criminal Code Procedure.

Sukarata also said that the team of judges accepted the prosecutors' indictment and will proceed to the next phase of the trial, on July 30 when the court will hear testimony from several witnesses.

Oki, 32, is being tried for allegedly killing Indian Suresh Gobind Mirchandani on Aug. 19, 1991, a young Indonesian woman Gina Sutan Aswar on November 20, 1991, and Eri Tri Harto Dharmawan, his own brother, in Los Angeles.

The courtroom was packed yesterday and the proceedings were broadcast live by ANteve. (26)