Three Muslim Witnesses in Tolikara Case Say Suspects Not Involved in Arson, Stone-Throwing

Peoples held a protest when first trial running at at Jayapura District Court - Jubi
Peoples held a protest when first trial running at at Jayapura District Court – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Three witnesses from Tolikara presented by the Public Prosecutor in the trial over the Tolikara incident held at Jayapura District Court were praised by two defendants and their attorney after they testifed that they did not see Jundi Wandikbo and Arianto Kogoya at the scene, contrary to prosecutors’ charges.

The three witnesses who have lived for 10 years in Tolikara are Sarno, Usman and Ali Mukhtar. The testimony of the three witnesses, who were also victims of the rock-throwing and arson incident on 17 June is a breath of fresh air for the defendants.

The suspect’s attorney Gustaf Kawer said their testimony relieved the charges over his clients. “Their testimony didn’t point to the suspects, but help my clients,” Kawer told Jubi on Thursday (3/12/2015) after the hearing on Wednesday (2/12/2015).

In answering the prosecutor’s question, the witnesses justified the stone throwing towards approximately 400-500 Muslims who were doing Eid prayer at Karubaga Military Command yard at 06:20 AM. They heard a voice screaming “Dismiss! Dismiss! from megaphone to the Muslims. But they confessed they didn’t see both suspects among the GIDI at that morning.

The first witness to testify was Sarno. He said,” There was screaming after fifth takbir. I thought it was not too long, about ten minutes, I heard screaming “Dismiss’,” Sarno told in the trial answering the Judge. His hand was bleeding due to stone throwing in that incident.

He also confessed he didn’t see the suspect’s face to answer the prosecutor’s question whether he saw who was behind the megaphone screaming to disperse the Muslims. “Yes, there was someone hold the megaphone, but I don’t know who is he because there were about 50 or 70 people out there. But yes, there it was (holding megaphone),” he said.

He admitted recognize Jundi Wadimbo because the suspect shopped at his kiosk, which was burned in the incident for several times. But, he just knew Arianto after the trial. “I didn’t see, I was panic at that time. When I say Arianto at the scene, but I didn’t see him throwing the stone,” he said.

Two other witnesses Ali Usman and Ustadz Ali Mukthar said the similar thing. “It’s right there was fire on houses, kiosks and stone throwing, but they were not involved at all. And the most important of their testimony, they talked about peace agreement that the problem out there has been settled,” said Kawer.

Arianto Kogoya expressed his gratitude to Sarno who were his former teacher at Karubaga Junior High School to come in the trial though he should come from distance, from Karubaga to Jayapura.
‘Thank you to this old man for coming and want to present in this court. I must thank him for clearly testifying in this court, and furthermore, he was my former teacher at Junior High School. He was one of my parents and now he was testified over me, spoke the truth about what I did with Jundi, and the police also knew both I and Jundi were to secure the situation at that time. We were to calm down the crowd,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor Gloria Sinohaji didn’t bother whether the testimony of three witnesses to relieve the charges. According to her, the witnesses are both victims and witnesses based on what they have seen and heard.
“The incident is truly occurred, there was creaming, incitement. That’s we want to prove, that both suspects did the incitement, fire and violence. That’s we want to prove,” Prosecutor told Jubi at the court.

Related to the testimony considered to be relieved the suspects, she said she want to prove something. “When we want to prove a case, we had a strategy. Look, I was the victim, I was beaten, but we can prove it through other witnesses about who was beat people, who was threw the stones. When you were the victim, you got beaten you might don’t know who did it. We can not force the victims to tell but at least they can hear the screaming,” she said.

The trial will continue on Thursday (10/12/2015) with the agenda of hearing the witness from the Public Prosecutor. (Yuliana Lantipo/rom)