Hearing of Witnesses | KOMPAS

Translation of bahasa news item in KOMPAS newspaper:

KOMPAS/MOHAMAD BURHANUDIN Stumps spread within thousands of ha of Tripa Peat Swamp area turned into charcoal caused by clearing by burning for oil palm plantation in the village of Pulo Kruet, Sub district of Darul Makmur in Aceh’s Nagan Raya District.

JAKARTA, KOMPAS – Civil investigator from the Ministry of Environment on Tuesday (22/05) afternoon started hearing of witnesses of the burning of Leuser Ecosystem’s Tripa Peat Swamp in Aceh’s Nagan Raya District. The witnesses are from the management of PT Kalista Alam and PT Surya Panen Subur 2.

“This hearing is the follow-up on the onsite investigation conducted several times ago. Two witnesses from the companies attended the hearing. Next week we are going to invite witnesses from the local government, such as from the District Office of Forestry, Agriculture and other related offices,” said Deputy of Environmental Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Environment, Sudariyono, in Jakarta.

While in Nagan Raya, the team has interview the witnesses from local community, filed to strengthen the findings of the investigator.

Sudariyono put forward that the investigator team has found that area of Tripa Peat Swamp was cleared by burning for oil palm plantation. The burning violates the Article 108 of the Law No. 32/2009 on the Environmental Protection and Management, charge with the minimum of 3 years up to 10 years in prison and fined with the minimum of IDR 3 billion up to 10 billion.

Besides the criminal aspect, the investigator also applied civil rights, as there is environmental destruction caused by the fire resulting in state loss. “The indemnity is still being calculated. The civil process is in parallel to the criminal lawsuit,” said Sudariyono.

The case emerged after WALHI and several others NGOs in Aceh filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Aceh based on the issuance of a permit for 1,605 ha within the area of LEuser Ecosystem. The Administrative Court in Banda Aceh rejected to make a verdict.

The awkwardness of the permit issuance alerted the Development Supervision and Control Division of the Presidential Working Unit (UKP4).

Meanwhile, the Director of PT Surya Panen Subur, Eddy Sutjahyo Busiri, said that his company did not set the fire, but was a victim of the fire set by the neighbouring plantation. “We reported directly to the police and local environmentalists to witness the fire themselves,” he said

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About iansingletonsocp

Orangutan conservationist, former zookeeper and field researcher.

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