Tue, 26 Aug 2003

Prosecutors want Samadikun to appear in court

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Prosecutors demanded on Monday that the panel of judges in the Central Jakarta District Court dismiss the petition for a judicial review filed by banker Samadikun Hartono, who has thus far managed to escape jail following his conviction in a graft case worth Rp 1.7 trillion (US$202.4 million).

"We will ask the judges to throw out the judicial review petition if Samadikun fails to appear before the court," prosecutor YW Mere told the hearing presided by Judge Iskandar Tjakke. The hearing was also attended by Samadikun's lawyer, Otto Cornelis Kaligis.

Mere told the press after the hearing that the prosecution demand was based on Article 265 of the Criminal Law Procedures Code and a Supreme Court practice direction stipulating that the plaintiff has to appear during the hearings.

The judges also demanded that Kaligis bring his client before the court during the next session.

"If the lawyers cannot make the plaintiff appear in court, then we will immediately issue a ruling," Tjakke said, adding that the trial was adjourned indefinitely pending the lawyers' response to the judges' demand.

Tjakke implied that the panel of judges might recommend the rejection of the petition for a judicial review and refuse to submit the case to the Supreme Court.

Samadikun, the former owner of the now-defunct Bank Modern, was declared a fugitive as he could not be found when prosecutors tried to execute the verdict in July.

He was sentenced to four years in jail for misusing Rp 1.7 trillion in Bank Indonesia liquidity loans (BLBI).

Pending the Supreme Court's verdict on the corruption case, Samadikun reportedly traveled to Japan, ostensibly for medical treatment at the Kokuro Memorial Hospital. He was granted leave to go to Japan by the Attorney General's Office.

It is unclear how and when Samadikun submitted his petition for a judicial review to the court.

Samadikun has reportedly submitted new evidence with his petition in the form of the Master of Refinancing and Note Issuance (MRNIA) agreement between him and the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA). This agreement was signed in December 2002.

Mere, however, told the hearing on Monday that the new evidence was not in fact new as it had already been presented during the trial.

Separately in the same district court, prosecutors failed to produce Imam Samudra, Amrozi and Ali Imron as witnesses in the trial of Abdul Jabar, the main suspect in the bombing of the Philippine ambassador's residence and two churches in Jakarta in 2000.

Presiding Judge Pramundana adjourned the trial until next week when the defendant is due to be cross-examined.