Former Junior Attorney General: Evidence lacking in Case of Two JIS Teachers

Former Junior Attorney General for Special Crimes (Jampidsus) Ramelan SH stated that the Jakarta High Court’s ruling to release the two Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) teachers, Neil Bantleman and Ferdinant Tjiong, showed that evidences used in the first trial held at the South Jakarta District Court were weak.

According to Ramelan, the High Court’s ruling had considered all legal processes in the first trial, and whether they were done according to provisions or not. The panel of judges at the High Court had examined whether evidences used during the legal process were supported by statements from witnesses and experts.

“If the ruling was to release the suspects, this would show that authentication (in the first trial) was unclear, irrelevant to the provisions, and weak,” said Ramelan in Jakarta, Tuesday (25/8).

Therefore, it was the right step for the Jakarta High Court to overrule the South Jakarta District Court in the JIS teachers case, since authentication was weak and inaccurate.

One of the weak points in the case was the submission of charges without the support of witnesses who actually saw the incident. No witness and evidence had strengthened the alleged sodomy. Supposedly, in the criminal procedural law, the witness is very important,” said Ramelan.

On August 14, the Jakarta High Court set free Neil Bantleman and Ferdinant Tjiong from the 10-year prison sentence handed down by the South Jakarta District Court. According to judges at the High Court,the South Jakarta District Court did not conduct careful and thorough authentication.

Legal observer from Brawijaya University, Fachrizal Afandi, said that the South Jakarta District Court’s ruling to sentence the suspects to 10 years in prison, was not in line with the criminal procedural law.

“I have studied files of the South Jakarta District Court’s ruling, and there were several irrelevant points. For instance, the judges did not use the results of the medical examination from a hospital in Singapore because there was no bilateral agreement. I think it is strange for judges to think in such manner. Justice is universal. Something that can be used as evidence, even though it comes from another country, is considered valid. No law forbids this,” he said separately.