Illegal logging defendants win appeal

EoF News / 26 October 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News)—Police and an environmental organization supported legal action taken by Pelalawan District Court which appealed against the decision made by Riau High Court to free 25 defendants of illegal logging case, media reported Friday.

Kompas daily reported today (26/10/2007) that Pelalawan police –who first nabbed the drivers of PT Madukoro in January this year— said the judges in the High Court that quitted the 25 defendants including a field supervisor did not refer to the facts found by the police.

Reports said the Riau High Court won the appeal filed by the defendants where the Pelalawan District Court had penalized them respectively to one-year in jail to the 24 drivers and 15-month imprisonment to the field supervisor of PT Madukoro, a company affiliated to Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL).

This decision is protested by the prosecutor as well the district court that would filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Director Executive of Walhi (Friends of Earth Indonesia) of Riau, Johnny Mundung, told Koran Tempo daily (26/10/2007) that his NGO would report the High Court judges to the Judicial Commission.

“We will report the attitude of High Court’s judges to the Judicial Commission,” said Mundung Thursday as quoted by Koran Tempo (26/10) as saying.

The prosecutors filed appeal to Supreme Court on 22 October. “This adds the long list of failure in netting suspects of illegal logging cases in Riau,” said Yogi Hasibuan, the province’s High Prosecutors Office’s assistant to intelligence I, Koran Tempo daily reported.