Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Illegal Logging Eradication: Supreme Court Terminate to “Undisciplined” Judges

Illegal Logging Eradication: Supreme Court Terminate to “Undisciplined” Judges

Source: TEMPO Interactive - May 14, 2008 Jakarta

Head of the Supreme Court Bagir Manan has instructed judges to support illegal logging eradication throughout Indonesia. He said that he would terminate undisciplined judges in these cases.

“I expect total investigation into the thousands of illegal logs that were found last month,” he said yesterday (13/5). Bagir has sent notification to judges about this requirement. “I ask them to pay attention,” he said
According to Bagir, the Supreme Court has made a special policy that illegal logging cases be handled by trained judges with knowledge of and training in environmental law. Illegal logging perpetrators, he said, would be trapped through a corruption section. Bagir recommended that the police auction off illegal logging evidence.

“Rather than it being destroyed or vanishing,” he said. The money from the auction can be kept in a bank or at the court.

The Police, said Bagir, could treat evidence in illegal logging cases in the same way as with drug cases. Investigators are allowed to present small amounts of evidence if there is a great deal.

Illegal logging eradication measures have recently been executed intensively in Riau and West Kalimantan. The Riau Regional Police has investigated 189 illegal logging cases with a total of 248 suspects. Some of the cases have already been completed, while others are ready for the trial. This does not include the thousands of illegal logs found during the past two months.

Chief of the Riau Regional Police Brig. Gen. Sutjiptadi said he suspected that the illegal logs had been stored in the warehouse of pulp factory.
According to Sutjiptadi, the factory could be charged with being involved in storing illegal goods. Sutjiptadi said fifteen timber companies are being investigated by the Commission to Eradicate Corruption (KPK). They have been in Riau since three days ago and three teams are investigating.

Johnny Setiawan Mundung, Executive Director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) for Riau, said he suspected the pulp factory was involved with the illegal logging.

“They are partners of giant paper factory in Riau,” he said. Walhi is demanding that all permits for timber usage be canceled. NURLIS E MEUKO SUTARTO FANNY FEBYANTI SANDY INDRA PRATAMA