Update: Indonesian National Police Commission says police often mishandle child sex abuse cases.
June 19th 2015
- Update: A verdict is expected in the JIS civil case for $125 million US on July 14th or early August* in Jakarta. Indonesian doctors have testified that medical test results show no signs of sexual abuse.
Kompolnas: Police Often Mishandle Child Sex Abuse Cases
JAKARTA, June 11, 2015 –
The National Police Commission (Kompolnas) said that police often mishandle sexual abuse cases involving children, and as a result, create a greater possibility for an individual to be wrongfully placed as a suspect. This was said by Kompolnas Commissioner M. Nasser when contacted, Thursday (11/6).
According to Nasser, it is undeniably wrong to use violence when investigating a child sex abuse case to determine the suspects. Doing so would lead to fatal consequences, as an innocent individual may very well be placed as a suspect.
Nasser also addressed the positive move by the National Police and Metro Jaya Police Internal Affairs Division to investigate the questionable death of one of the ISS workers during the investigation process in the Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) sexual abuse case. “Each questionable death during the police investigation process must be addressed. The move by Internal Affairs is the right one, since police institutions must ensure that no violence was used in naming suspects in child sex abuse cases. No one is above the law,” underlined Nasser.
Fellow Kompolnas Commissioner Andrianus Meliala said that coercion was applied by investigators in obtaining a confession to sexual abuse, one of which was in the case involving ISS cleaners, who allegedly abused Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) kindergarten students.
Adrianus said that if the confession was obtained under duress, then results of the investigation are inaccurate. The process of handling lawsuits requires stages. This is to ensure that results are accurate, accountable and not place the innocent as suspects.
There is already an established check and recheck system of cases with the police institution. That is why there is a hierarchy, such as unit heads (kanit) at the investigator level, to investigation supervisor, and supervisor units. In the police, once the P19 process or collection of case files has been done, the prosecutors will then be verified in court. “The check and re check mechanism is standard procedure. But if ignored by all levels, then it won’t work and innocent people may be placed as suspects and vice-versa. This often happens because the mechanism isn’t applied,” said Adrianus.
He then cited the investigation process for the JIS sexual abuse case. He said that the check and recheck mechanism wasn’t applied in the investigation process. It is as if investigators coerced them (the cleaner’s) into becoming suspects, thereby paving the way for many oddities.
“In the JIS case involving the cleaners, I believe that the investigators were inappropriately appointed (unqualified). Kompolnas has requested the internal supervision (Kanit Pominal) to investigate the possible torture of the cleaners in securing a confession to the abuse. If confessions were obtained under duress were incoherent, then all their confessions were false. That is the function of the check and recheck mechanism,” he said.
On June 4, the Metro Jaya Police and National Police Internal Affairs Division made their way to the Cipinang detention center to gather statements from Virgiawan Amin, Syahrial, Agun Iskandar and Zainal Abidin (PT ISS cleaners) as part of an investigation.
National Discussion on Handling of Child Sex Abuse Cases: Evidence in Investigation of JIS Case Not Legitimate
JAKARTA, June 12, 2015 -
Atmajaya Jakarta University Faculty of Psychology Prof. Irwanto, PhD said that handling of the alleged Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) sexual abuse case is plagued with problems.
Reenactments done by the Metro Jaya Police in uncovering sexual abuse charges were awkward and should not have served to prove something in court.
Irwanto, who has seen a video with the reenactment of the JIS case, added that many oddities have occurred. In the reenactment, MAK and his parent were the plaintiffs, while the police had notes and a camera. In the reenactment, the boy was told to squat at certain points. Despite his protests, the boy would still be told to squat at designated spots and have a picture taken.
“How could such evidence be used in court when clearly orchestrated reenactments cannot be considered legitimate for use in the substantiation process? This sort of reenactment would lead to questions of whether an incident actually occurred,” he said when contacted Friday (12/06).
Another oddity of the reenactment was that MAK showed no signs of trauma, whereas reports mentioned he was sodomized repeatedly since December 2013 to March 2014. The boy should therefore suffer intense trauma and fear if brought to the site where he was sexually abused.
“MAK was calm, laughed happily as if nothing had happened, and was even seen playing during the reenactment. It is impossible for a child who had been repeatedly sodomized to feel comfortable at the location where he was allegedly sodomized.”
Irwanto also regretted that reenactments were not done immediately after the alleged sexual abuse incidents. Orchestrated reenactments would see the child slowly adjust to the orders given, even though they don’t reflect actual incidents. This is because children are easily influenced and instructed, particularly when under pressure or duress.
“What doesn’t make sense is that such evidence was used to sentence someone in court. This is what makes our legal system even more of a mess.”
Meanwhile, according to Supreme Court Judge Gayus Lumbuun, evidence in trial must be the priority consideration among the panel of judges when making a ruling. “Judges are only 30 percent certain in a case, while the remainder must be based on evidence in court. If they are still uncertain, then the head of the panel of judges may add the number of members to five, so that there would be more considerations in the ruling,” he said.
The case of alleged sexual abuse at JIS has dragged six ISS cleaners to the court following a report filed by TPW, the mother of MAK. The cleaners are Agus Iskandar, Virgiawan Amin, Zainal Abidin, Syahrial, and Afrishka Setyani, who were each sentenced to 7-8 years in prison. Meanwhile, the sixth cleaner, Azwar, died during the investigation process that was said to have involved torture.
Two JIS instructors, Neil Bantleman and Ferdinant Tjiong, are also involved in the case following accusations by parents of MAK, AL and DA. Both teachers are appealing the 10-year prison sentence handed down by the South Jakarta District Court.
In the trial for the two teachers, results of medical examinations indicated that pus found in the victim’s anus was not caused by sexually-transmitted diseases but rather bacteria. Meanwhile, medical examinations performed on AL at a hospital in Singapore concluded that the victim’s anus was in normal condition. Charges of sexual abuse were merely based on the child’s claim to being a victim and accounts given by the parent. However, there is still no witness who saw the incident firsthand. ***
Poskotanews.com – Discussion of Child Sexual Abuse
National Police Commission (Kompolnas) Commissioners Adrianus Meliala and Hamidah Abdulrahman were in attendance at a discussion held at the Grand Kemang Hotel, Jakarta, Wednesday (6/10/2015). The discussion, organized by Kompolnas and the Indonesian Forensics Science Association (AIFI) featured the theme of “Analysis into Handling of Child Sex Abuse through Scientific Crime Investigation”.