Tue, 09 Aug 1994

Rector's lawyer discredits defense

JAKARTA (JP): Defense lawyer of IISIP Rector Ali Moechtar Hoeta Soehoet, who is facing charges of sexual harassment, asked the South Jakarta District Court to consider the honesty of the witnesses in their verdict.

"I ask the honorable judges not to believe the witnesses' testimonies although they have testified under the oath," said Petrus Bala Pattyona when he read his defense statement yesterday.

Petrus said that most of the witnesses have the same motivation and intention, "They want to humiliate the defendant in order to help another party to take over my client's job," he said.

Hoeta Soehoet is rector of the Institute of Social and Mass Communication (IISIP) in Lenteng Agung, South Jakarta. The lawyer has previously said that outside parties, which include a national media magnate, have orchestrated the trial in order to take over the institute.

The prosecutor has requested that the judge sentence Hoeta Soehoet to one-year in jail for making indecent advances towards Dyah Bintarini, a member of the rector's staff. He is accused of accosting her eight times in his office and other places, including the institute's library. The sexual harassment allegedly occurred during the period of March 1987 to July 1991.

The rector is also charged with similar behavior towards Hanny Ankie Peggy, the institute's chief librarian, who was reportedly harassed 15 times in her rented room and in various rooms at the institute, from May 1984 to June 1991.

Petrus said that prosecutor Uri Hasan Basri has failed to see that Hanny is a promiscuous woman who leads an abnormal sexual life, as was apparent from her love letters to her two adopted daughters, Munzillah and Yati Suryati.

Hence, Petrus said, the judges should ignore Hanny's testimony.

False statement

The lawyer also said that Dyah Bintarini, the other witness had made false statement about the time she was sexually harassed by the defendant.

In the court session led by Judge Doris A. Taulo, Petrus said that, after he arrived at his office, Hoeta Soehoet was too busy briefing all of the faculty members for the preparation of second term examination that he did not have time to harass anybody.

In his closing statement, Petrus said that the accusations by Dyah and Hanny are groundless and the trial is being orchestrated by a certain party in order to appropriate the institute.

He also asked the presiding judge to discharge the defendant from all charges and immediately reestablish his good name.

Accompanied by his children and dozens of his staffers, Hoeta Soehoet looked very composed during the Saturday's session. As usual he did not give any comment to the press.

The court session was also attended by Dyah and some persons who showed their sympathy with her.

The judge adjourned the session until Sept. 14 to prepare the verdict. (03)