From the Second Trial Hearing of Teguh Santosa, Editor-in-Chief of Rakyat Merdeka Online

At 10:30 a.m. Indonesian Western Time on Wednesday, September 6, 2006, at the South Jakarta District Court, government prosecutors of the South Jakarta Prosecutors’ Office indicted Teguh Santosa, editor-in-chief of Rakyat Merdeka Online, who, in the previous hearing, was indicted by government prosecutors of the South Jakarta District Court for a single accusation, namely Article 156 point (a) of the Criminal Code, which says:

‘’Those, who purposely express their views or commit an act that principally disseminates hatred, misuses or defames a religion recognized in Indonesia, face at maximum five years imprisonment.’’

Today, Teguh and his attorneys of the Advocacy Team to Defend Journalists each read out their defense. In his defense, Teguh Santosa said that the publication of the caricature of Prophet Mohammed was to make the story complete and not to follow up the defamation or even participate in the defamation. The caricature he chose was one of 12 pictures that showed the defamation most. And for the purpose, Teguh said that he had put a long, red, thick block covering both eyes in the caricature.

Meanwhile, the Advocacy Team to Defend Journalists said that the indictment made by the government prosecutors was inaccurate, unclear and incomplete in describing criminal elements. The Advocacy Team to Defend Journalists also said that the act committed by Teguh Santosa was related to his job as journalist as guaranteed by Article 4 point (3) of the Law No. 40 Year 1999 on Press and insisted that the indictment of the government prosecutors was premature because the case of Teguh Santosa was a journalistic one, which must be solved through journalistic mechanisms as stipulated by the Law No 40 Year 1999 on Press.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday on September 13, 2006, to hear the response of the government prosecutors.

1 comment
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