Sunday, March 20, 2011

Long Distance Testimony

The trial of Abubakar Ba'asyir at the District Court of South Jakarta last week was filled with harsh protests by Ba'asyir as the Defendant and his team of lawyers.

One of the things they protested was the Council of Judges's decision to allow the Witnesses to testify without appearing physically in Court but through teleconference.

In this regards I would like to share what blogger-lawyer Anggara has wrote on his blog:
Anggara quoted Hukumonline as saying that the use teleconference in the trial violate the Criminal Prosedural Law (KUHAP) which stipulated that Witnesses must testify by appearing pshycally in Court.

The KUHAP may not mention about the possibility of using Teleconference in Court Trial, but there is the Witness and Victim Law No. 13/2006 with enable the Hearing of Witness to be carried out through teleconference.
And in this case, the Prosecutors have stated that the purpose of witness hearing through teleconference is to safeguard the safety of the Witness.

The said Law does not specifically rule that the teleconference witness hearing can be done on condition that the witness is under protection, but for the sake of fair trial it would better if the council of judges ask the Prosecutor to explain why must the hear be done through teleconference, and allow the defendant and his lawyers to raise their objection.

Although in the end the judges would decide to allow the teleconference, but the defendant and his lawyers would not be protesting very harshly because they have already been given the chance to raise objection.


Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Should give grounds for appeal if they lose the case?

Multibrand said...

Hi Peter/Kiwi,
Yes you are correct, they may use it as grounds for appeal.

colson said...

Interesting case.

I guess the courts are getting familiar with this phenomenon. And with good reasons.

Sometimes witnesses aren't physically able to come the courtroom.

Or witnesses should be kept anonymous - except to judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers). Because they should be protected against any publicity ( they might run the risk of being murdered if they were recognized after having testified).

In case of children it may even be necessary to video separately their the interview.

You're right though; of course the decision should be legally motivated. And all the rights of the suspect and his/her team of lawyers should always be protected as well. They ( the lawyers) should be able to be present at the interview ( in case it is being videotaped) or question the witnesses.

the dream catcher said...

typical behavior of MOST of Indonesian that when they can not have what their want; instead of try to be wise about it they stomped and screamed and hope to provoke other people to support them... This time, a lawyer did that... SHOCKER...

Meutia Halida Khairani said...

wew, teleconferencing.. first case i heard and it appear in indonesia, ckckckck. why don't videoconferencing? hmm, but the technology can be manipulated in so many different ways.. i'm not sure the witnesses is the true person :3

Wisata Murah said...

wah frankly confused look at the fact the trial of this case

Joko kepruk said...

new technology should be 'friend' for Law in indonesia. we can not obey technology. It's a part of live.

Multibrand said...

The people expect that the court of law would work based on fairness, wisdom and objectivity of the judges.
For which purpose, Court decision should always be based on the rule of law : Supremacy of Law, Equality before the law, presumption of innocence and respect of human right.
Otherwise, court decision would caused instability in society.

@Ria/The Dream Catcher,
The best thing would be for every one involve in the court trial to do their job properly so as to avoid any inconveniences.

As the highest authority in court the judges may decide how the hearing of witness should be done. In which case the process should follow normal procedure, like taking oath, prosecutors should be responsible for the eligibility of the witness.

@Wisata Murah,
The court is being careful in trying the case.

@Joko Kepruk,
I agree that the use of technology should support law enforcement.