Papua Governor Lukas Enembe gravely ill – KPK trial delayed

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Suspended Papua Governor Lukas Enembe at the Gatot Subroto Army Central Hospital 16 July 2023
Suspended Papua Governor Lukas Enembe when he was taken to the Gatot Subroto Army Central Hospital (RSPAD) last Sunday night. His health is reported go have sharply deteriorated. Image: Odiyaiwuu.com

SPECIAL REPORT: By Yamin Kogoya

Suspended Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, who is detained in Indonesia on corruption charges, was supposed to go on trial yesterday but this did not go ahead as he is gravely ill and could not attend.

Upon realising the governor’s health had deteriorated, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) tried to transport him to Gatot Subroto Army Central Hospital (RSPAD) last Saturday.

However, the governor refused due to what he said was KPK’s “mishandling” of the legal case.

A member of the Governor’s legal team, Petrus Bala Pattyona, said he had been contacted by the KPK prosecutor on Sunday.

Bala Pattyona was asked by the prosecutor to convince Enembe to be taken to the hospital. Enembe had not eaten for two days, was vomiting, nauseous, and dizzy, reports Odiyaiwuu.com.

The Governor is currently in an intensive care unit — suffering from a serious life-threatening illness.

Jakarta’s ‘legal mishandling’ of Governor
Governor Enembe was on trial a week ago on July 10, but public prosecutors failed to bring witnesses to the hearing.

After the trial was adjourned for another week until yesterday, he was taken to a KPK prison cell despite being seriously ill.

Prior to these two failed trial hearings, the Governor appeared in court on June 24.

However, the hearing wqs suspended after a panel of judges rejected Governor Enembe’s appeal for the charges to be waived.

Given the governor’s ill health, the judges ruled to prioritise his health and grant his request to suspend proceedings until he was medically fit to stand trial.

On June 12, an anticipated and highly publicised trial was scheduled to take place in Jakarta’s District Court. However, the trial was not held due to KPK’s mishandling of the ordeal.

To date, a total of nine attempts have been made to deliver a satisfactory closure of the Governor’s legal case since he was “kidnapped” from Papua in January 2023.

New August date set
The trial is now rescheduled for early August 2023. However, there is no guarantee that this will be the last hearing over what critics describe as a tragic and disgraceful mishandling of the case concerning a respected tribal chief and Governor who is fighting for his life.

For the government of Indonesia, KPK and judges, every moment that is mismanaged, mishandled, or delayed might mean just a delay in justice, but for the Governor and his family it means life and death.

According to the governor’s family, KPK are already waiting to bring this sick man back from hospital and lock him up in a KPK prison cell again.

The Governor’s family ask how could this “cruel treatment be happening”?

Yamin Kogoya is a West Papuan academic/activist who has a Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from the Australian National University and who contributes to Asia Pacific Report. From the Lani tribe in the Papuan Highlands, he is currently living in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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