Fri, 01 Dec 2000

Lawyers demand acquittal of defendant Soemarjono

SURABAYA (JP): Lawyers defending Col. (ret.) Soemarjono on trial for allegedly producing counterfeit money worth Rp 4.28 billion demanded the local district court here on Thursday acquit the defendant of all charges.

In their rebuttal read out by G.K. Widjaja, the defense lawyers' team said the charges against the defendant lacked evidence after two main witnesses, Slamet Hardjo Soemitro and Miyun Hadi Suwito, dropped their testimony.

"The prosecutors have brought charges against the defendant merely based on police dossiers, without taking into consideration the facts found in court," Widjaja told the hearing presided over by judge Hirman Purwanakusuma.

Both Slamet and Miyun, who are being tried separately for the same case, retracted their earlier confession made during police questioning where they had talked about commission in the fake money business with Soemarjono.

Slamet told the court that the talks were focused on housing business, which received no response from Soemarjono.

Miyun, meanwhile, testified before the court that he had negotiated a jewelry business with Soemarjono at the latter's cafe. The business, however, never materialized, Miyun said.

Widjaja said the testimony delivered by Slamet and Miyun proved that the prosecutors had failed to support their charges with convincing evidence.

The prosecutors also named another witness, Herna Kusnadji, but he never appeared in court.

"We, therefore, demand the court acquit the defendant of all charges, release him and restore his reputation as a free and respected citizen," Widjaja said.

The hearing will resume on Thursday, when the judges will announce the verdict. (nur)