JAKARTA – Deputy V heading the Legal Division of the Ministry of Environment, Sudariono, explained that a team of State Attorney Lawyers will file a lawsuit in the case of the Tripa Peat Swamp this week.
“The plan is at the beginning of this month, and within one to three days, the team of State Attorney Lawyers, as the legal representatives of the Minister of the Environment, will depart for Aceh,” said Sudariono during a press conference after a Coordination Meeting on Environmental Law Enforcement in 2012 in Jakarta, last Tuesday morning, November 6, 2012.
He said, there are two lawsuits to be filed: a criminal case and a civil case related to PT. Kallista Alam (KA) and PT. Surya Panen Subur (SPS) 2. For PT. KA the case will be filed in Nagan Raya, Aceh Barat, namely the District Court of Meulaboh.
While for PT. SPS-2 the case will be filed in the District Court of Jakarta. But, Sudariono did not declare exactly which court. “In accordance with the deed,” he claimed.
Sudariono said that for the criminal case, the team of State Attorney Lawyers is prepared with an Order of Appoinment for the Public Prosecutor to Observe the Development of the Investigation of the Crime, also known as P 16.
“The criminal charges are compiled together with BPLN LH, so hopefully,” added Sudariono.
Currently, the Ministry of Environment ,with the Attorney General and the Supreme Court, are applying a Certification Programme for Environmental Judges.
The goal of this programme is to improve the legal handling of environmental cases at all court levels, including the Administrative Court, to better fulfill the sense of justice for litigants involved, and also to support efforts in environmental protection.
“There are still laws that are unclear, so this certification programme is important in order to build a common perception,” said the Head of the Supreme Court, Hatta Ali.
Hatta Ali said that the enforcement of environmental law so far strictly refers to Law No. 32/ 2009, but there are still obstacles on the field. “Concerning expert witnesses, for example, what is the criteria? Does it fulfill the requirements for filing a “legal standing?” said Ali.
The Ministry of Environment indicated that the Certification Programme for Environmental Judges will be carried out for two months. This programme prioritises the judges in charge in the regions with the most severe envrionmental destruction, namely Sumatera, Java and Kalimantan.(bna)
- Melanie Subono investigates the destruction of Tripa Peat Swamp (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Governor: Protect Tripa Peat Swamp (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Historic Cancellation of Oil Palm Permit Opens Door for Prosecution of Companies Crimes (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
Thursday, September 27, 2012 19:52 WIB
MURDANI ABDULLAH | Free Translation by Adji Darsoyo
BANDA ACEH – The Government of Aceh has officially revoked the plantation permit of PT Kalista Alam in Tripa Peat Swamp. The withdrawal was marked through the issuance of a Governor Decree No. 525/BP2T/5087/2012 signed by the Governor of Aceh, Zaini Abdullah, on September 27, 2012.
“Correct, we have revoked the permit of Kalista Alam. We hope that this decision can be accepted by all parties,” said the Head of the Legal and PR Office of the Aceh Regional Secretariat, Makmur Ibrahim.
According to him, the revoked permit is for an area within Pulo Kruet village, Sub district of Darul Makmur in Nagan Raya, covering 1,605 ha.
The reason of the withdrawal, add Makmur, is that, because PT Kalista Alam was considered violating the existing legal regulation.
The Article 45A Point c of the Law No. 5/2004 on the Supreme Court declares restriction for state administrative cases, which can only be appealed to Administrative High Court, but not to cassation at the Supreme Court.
Besides, PT Kalista Alam also violated the agreement to establish plasma plantation covering 30% of the total of 1,605 ha.
“Based on this we withdraw the permit of Kalista Alam, which also has never submitted any midterm report on their business development to the Governor of Aceh,” he said.(bna)
Banda Aceh – Almost a month after the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan ordered the Governor of Aceh to revoke the Plantation Permit issued for PT Kalista Alam, the Government of Aceh has officially issued the Letter of Revocation of the controversial permit.
The Governor of Aceh has issued Decree No. 525/BP2T/5078/2012, dated September 27 2012 revoking Governor’s Permit No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 to PT Kalista Alam for a Plantation covering 1,605 ha, located in Pulo Kruet village within the Sub-district of Darul Makmur, Nagan Raya District.
The Decree stated that the revocation was executed based on the Article 45A of the Law No. 5/2004 on the Amendment of the Law No. 14/1985 on the Supreme Court, which states that in an administrative lawsuit, which covers a decision of a regional official that applies within the official’s region of jurisdiction, is not eligible for appeal to the Supreme Court.
WALHI Aceh extends its appreciation to the Government of Aceh that has shown its compliance with the law. “The ruling of the Administrative High Court of Medan is clear, namely that the Governor had to revoke the permit of PT Kalista Alam covering 1,605 ha in Tripa Peat Swamp, so it had to be done. If not, the Government of Aceh would have been in violation of the law,” said the Executive Director of WALHI Aceh, T. Muhammad Zulfikar.
Tripa Peat Swamp is part of Leuser Ecosystem which has been designated as a National Strategic Area for Environmental Protection, in the Law No. 26/2007 on Spatial Plan and in the Government Regulation No. 26/2008 on National Spatial Planning.
The withdrawal of the license sends a signal to ‘naughty’ entrepreneurs not to play around with the law and regulation in Aceh. “This is important for maintaining legal certainty in conducting business and in investing in Aceh, and thus benefits the common people” said T. Muhammad Zulfikar.
According to WALHI Aceh, there were several reasons to revoke the controversial plantation permit without the need for action in the courts. One of them is the failure of PT Kalista Alam to establish the required community-based “plasma” plantation in 30% of their total plantation area. Also, PT Kalista Alam has never submitted the required regular monthly report on the physical development of its plantation to the Government of Aceh, either to the relevant offices at district or provincial level.
WALHI Aceh believes that each and every plantation company that flouts existing laws and regulations must be firmly sanctioned. “It should not be necessary to have to resort to the courts for permits to be revoked. If companies do not comply with what is agreed and inflict losses for Aceh, they must be sanctioned,” he said.
According to WALHI’s records, other there are many other problem plantation companies besides PT Kalista Alam, with violations such as illicit land grabbing, conducting development operations prior to receiving a permit, failure to develop community plasma plantations, and clearing by burning.
WALHI Aceh requests the Government of Aceh to thoroughly and firmly evaluate all the companies in the Tripa Peat Swamps. “The results of these evaluations will determine the direction of future policy in this peatland, especially related to its environmental protection,” said T Muhammad Zulfikar.
Firman Hidayat | The Globe Journal
Friday, September 14, 2012 01:50 WIB | free translation by Adji Darsoyo
Banda Aceh – The 6th Deputy of the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) covering the Settlement of the Environmental Law, Sudaryono, stated that the Ministry has filed a criminal and civil lawsuit against two companies, PT. Kalista Alam and PT. SPS-2, related to the case of Tripa Peat Swamp.
He explained that the case was handled by the MoE base on a letter from UKP-4 from April 11, 2012, addressed to the MoE and to the National Policem which was followed up with field investigation in coordination with the National Police and the Attorney General.
“We have been conducting several field investigations, during May 3 to 5, June 9 to 10 and July 24 to 25 of 2012, in accordance with the letter of UKP-4,” said Sudaryono to The Globe Journal onThursday afternoon (13/09).
According to him, there are 34 witnesses from both companies called for interrogation, 21 from PT. SPS and 13 from PT. Kalista Alam. “We only look from the perspective of the criminal and civil law upon the case of clearing by burning and there is strong indication of deliberate action in the case of burning,” emphasized Sudaryono.
The civil investigators of the MoE are in the final process of determining the suspect to be handed over to the Attorney General. “The suspect leads to the functional perpetrator and the company, not field personnel,” convinced Sudaryono. This means the person and the company responsible, while the civil lawsuit includes environmental destruction and rehabilitation.
Saturday, September 15, 2012 11:12 WIB | Free translation by Adji Darsoyo
* Located within Protection Area
BANDA ACEH – The Governor of Aceh, dr Zaini Abdullah, immediately revokes the expansion permit for palm oil plantation of PT Kalista Alam covering 1,606 ha within the protection area of Tripa Peat Swamp in Nagan Raya.
“The withdrawal of the permit of PT Kalista Alam is not our what we want, but to execute the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan on the favour of WALHI’s legal standing on the cancellation of the particular permit within Tripa Peat Swamp,” emphasized dr. Zaini Abdullah to the press after hearing with the Indonesian Regional Council (DPD-RI), the Provincial Attorney, Provincial Police, Military Commander, representative of the Ministry of Forestry and plantation companies related to the protection of the protection area of Tripa Peat Swamp of Nagan Raya District on Thursday (13/09).
The Governor explained that there are three recommendation taken into account during the hearing in regards to Tripa Peat Swamp, firstly the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan of August 30, 2012, granting WALHI’s legal request over a lawsuit against the permit issued to PT Kalista Alam by the former Governor of Aceh, in which the meeting forum urge dr Zaini Abdullah to immediately revoke this oil palm plantation expansion permitcovering 1,606 ha issued by his predecessor.
Secondly, the Governor of Aceh has been requested to immediately established an integrated team involving the Ministry of Forestry, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Registration Office, Team of National Spatial Planning and other technical ministries in Jakarta to evaluate and to conduct audit on the existing oil palm and other plantation permits issued either by ministries or Aceh Provincial and District Government, which are considered to be not eligible and located within protection areas.
Based on the fact that 62,000 ha of Tripa Peat Swamp are occupied by 5 palm oil companies and that the police and the Attorney General are investigating the case of clearing by burning carried out by two palm oil companies.
Representative of PT. Kalista Alam, Palaceta, who was attending the meeting, mentioned that the issued permit covering 1,606 ha in Tripa was not a new permit, but an expansion of the existing plantation area started in 2005.
Still, Palaceta said that the company is ready to sincerely accept the decision taken in the hearing. (her/swa)
WALHI Aceh Press Release
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
JUDGES OF HIGHER ADMINISRATIVE COURT IN MEDAN GRANTED WALHI ACEH’S APPEAL
Aceh Governor has to withdraw the Plantation License of PT. Kalista Alam in Tripa and evaluate the entire existing licenses in Tripa Peat Swamp
Banda Aceh – WALHI’s appeal (in this case as the Plaintiff) against Aceh Governor (1st Defendant) and PT. Kalista Alam (2nd Defendant) on the withdrawal of the Governor’s Plantation License No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 to PT. Kalista Alam issued on August 25, 2011 covering 1,605 ha in Tripa Peat Swamp’s Pulo Kruet village has been granted by the High Court in Medan.
The ruling of the High Court of Medan No. 89/B/2012/PT.TUN-MDN has been recited by the Panel of Judges on August 30, 2012.
The ruling contains among others: 1). The granting of Plaintiff’s (WALHI) appeal; 2). Cancellation of the contested license No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 issued by the Governor of Aceh on August 25, 2011; 3). An order to the 1st Defendant (The Governor of Aceh) to withdraw the contested State Administrative Decision of the Governor of Aceh on the No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 on the Plantation Permit to PT. Kalista Alam issued on August 25, 2011; 4). An order to the 1st and 2nd Defendants to jointly cover the cost of both court process of IDR 250,000,-.
(The ruling document in Bahasa Indonesia can be accessed here)
In response to the above mentioned court ruling, WALHI Aceh would like to address the following:
- WALHI Aceh kindly appreciate the ruling of the High Court of Medan. This result is to be taken gratefully, since it is not only a victory for WALHI but aslo for the whole community of Aceh and various national and international groups that have been so far very much and fully concerned about the relief and the protection of Tripa Peat Swamp. This is also a high appreciation for the collaborative struggle, especially of the community of the 21 villages in and around Tripa Peat Swamp. This decision is also proof that the law enforcement in environmental issue became a valuable effort and is expected to be momentum of law enforcement in a broader sense.
- Based on the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan, WALHI Aceh request the Governor of Aceh to immediately follow up on the decision by cancelling the Plantation Permit issued to PT. Kalista Alam in Tripa Peat Swamp. Further, the Governor of Aceh is expected to evaluate all existing permits of various plantation companies in Tripa Peat Swamp, which are allegedly violating the procedures.
- WALHI Aceh also hopes that the entire legal cases, both civil and criminal cases currently undertaken by the Ministry of the Environment against several plantation companies in Tripa Peat Swamp, as well as the reports of the community and the Coalition for the Protection of Tripa (TKPRT) to the police, can be seriously processed and followed up upon.
We thank you very much for all supports and attentions.
Banda Aceh, 5 September 2012
WALHI Aceh Regional Executive,
Teuku Muhammad Zulfikar
Mobile: +62 812 690 128
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