News from Jakarta:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 19:18:00 WIB | Laporan: Ade Mulyana

English translation:

RMOL. Greater caution has been urged for the High Court and Supreme Court (MA) when ruling in the case of alleged sexual abuse at the Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS).

The call was made by The Commission for “The Disappeared” and Victims of Violence (KontraS), with its coordinator, Haris Azhar saying that the rulings by both a Singaporean court and the South Jakarta District Court (PN), which favored JIS over the plaintiff in the case, are proof of various fabrications in the case.

“Cases such as JIS have occurred many times and should become an important lesson for our law enforcers,” said Haris when contacted by phone on Tuesday (8/11).

The discovery of new facts in the JIS case, he said, must not only be considered but also scrutinized by the courts to uncover the actual truth. The innocent must not be punished for a crime they did not commit.

“A court system that is fair, transparent and based on solid evidence is greatly needed to ensure that legal certainty still exists in this country. So far the JIS case, which has attracted vast public attention, has led many to question the independence of our courts,” added Haris.

Yesterday, the South Jakarta District Court denied the Rp 1.6 trillion civil lawsuit filed by TPW, the mother of MAK, who claimed that her son had been sexually abused by PT ISS cleaning service workers and JIS teachers, Neil Bantleman and Ferdinant Tjiong.

In its ruling, the panel of judges led by Haswandi said it threw out the lawsuit for lack of parties. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff did not include the PT ISS cleaning service workers previously sentenced as well as the victim.

The case also saw new facts presented by Dr Osmina from the Pondok Indah Hospital (RSPI), who, in a written statement, emphasized that the letter issued to TPW merely served as a requirement to claim insurance for MAK, and not for the purposes of a criminal lawsuit. MAK was only examined at the ICU, which failed to comprehensively determine the cause behind the disease afflicting the former JIS kindergarten student.

Previously, on July 16, 2015 a court in Singapore ruled that charges of sexual abuse by Neil Bantleman and Ferdinant Tjiong on AL, a student at JIS, were unproven.

An anoscopy at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore, which involved a team of surgeons, anesthetists, and psychologists, concluded that AL’s anus was in normal condition, with no scars or abrasions found. AL together with MAK and DA reported Neil and Ferdi to the police on charges of sexual abuse, leaving the two JIS teachers sentenced by the South Jakarta District Court to 10 years in prison.

In its ruling, the Singaporean court found DR, the mother of AL guilty and ordered her to pay S$230,000or some Rp 2.3 billion to Neil, Ferdi and JIS. DR was guilty of defaming all three parties after her accusations that AL had been sexually abused were unproven.

JIS legal representative in the civil lawsuit Harry Ponto said he was grateful the court ruled in favor of his client, which he claimed may be a bright point in the attempt to uncover the truth.

“We see that the panel of judges had made an objective ruling after carefully considering all evidence presented in court. We are grateful that its decision was not based on public opinion formed early in the case,” he said following the trial (8/10).

Harry added that the decision by the panel of judges to deny TPW’s lawsuit further proves and confirms that the JIS case neither has sound basis nor strong evidence to support it.

“The decision is certainly good news for JIS, and its two teachers, Neil and Ferdi, as well as the cleaning service workers in their pursuit of justice, as all of them have fallen victim to groundless public opinion right from the start.”