Wed, 22 Mar 2000

Prosecutor files appeal against decision on Djoko

JAKARTA (JP): The South Jakarta Prosecutor's Office filed an appeal at the Jakarta High Court on Tuesday over the South Jakarta District Court's decision to drop the indictment against Djoko S. Tjandra, a defendant in the Rp 546 billion (US$73.7 million) Bank Bali scandal.

Documents of the appeal case, including the District Court's verdict, the prosecutor's indictment and the appeal statement were officially submitted by the South Jakarta District Court officials in place of the prosecutor's office.

"We filed an appeal at the Jakarta High Court this morning, after receiving all the documents from prosecutor Ridwan Moekiat on Friday," a staffer at the appeals section of the South Jakarta District Court, Dimyati, said.

"On the other hand, we have also informed the judges and the defendant's lawyers about the appeal case," Dimyati told The Jakarta Post.

In his six-page appeal statement, the prosecutor demanded the High Court revoke the district court's decision.

"The charges center on the alleged corruption practices carried out by the defendant, but not the cessie contract between Bank Bali and PT Era Giat Prima, in which Djoko was an executive of the company," said the statement.

Presiding judge R. Soenarto said, while reading the verdict in a pretrial hearing on March 6, that the judges did not have the authority to try the case since it was not a criminal one.

He said the authority to try the case rested with a team of judges in a civil case, which would determine whether the cessie contract was legal or not.

The Bank Bali scandal centers around a transfer of Rp 546 billion to PT Era Giat Prima as commission for services in assisting the bank to recoup Rp 904 billion in interbank loans.

The case drew the pubic's attention as part of the money was reportedly transferred to the Golkar Party to finance the presidential campaign of then president B.J. Habibie.

In the indictment, the prosecutor accused Djoko of "approaching" several top government figures to pave the way for the disbursement of the funds from the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA).

The figures were, among others, Pande Lubis from IBRA, former Supreme Advisory chairman A. A. Baramuli, former state minister of state enterprises Tanri Abeng and Erman Munzir, an executive of the central bank.

The prosecutor insisted that by dropping the indictment the judges had acted beyond their responsibility.

"In the pretrial hearing, the judges were not supposed to touch the substance of the case," he said.

He said that in a pretrial hearing, the judges usually rule whether the court has the authority to try the case, or to rule whether the indictment was complete and clear.

The prosecutor also demanded the high court order the district court to continue the hearing of the case, and to rule the indictment as complete and clear.

The prosecutor then insisted that the defendant must be detained as the hearing started.

Dimyati said the high court would have 14 days to examine the district court's verdict.

"The high court will decide within 14 days whether to uphold or overrule the district court's ruling. If the ruling is overruled, the district court will continue to hear the case," he said. (asa)