Treason trial against Polish citizen and Papuan defendant launched in Wamena

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The trial against Polish citizen Jakub Fabian Skrzypski and the Papuan defendant Simon Magal has started on 14 January 2019 at the District Court in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency of Papua Province. Both men have been charged with the articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code KUHP on treason, article 53 KUHP regarding the attempt to commit a criminal offense and article 55 KUHP on committing, ordering or participating in a criminal offense. The trial was postponed twice because Jakub Skrzypski refused to attend the court hearing. His lawyers stated that he had gone into a hunger strike, criticizing the bad conditions during detention at the Jayawijaya District police station. Skrzypski’s requests to move the trial to Jayapura city and to have a Polish interpreter were both rejected by the panel of judges.

A statement read aloud by the lawyers during a court session on 7 February 2019 described that Jakup Skrzypski was allegedly punched through the cell-door bars and spat on by a police officer during detention at the police station. According to Skrzypski, the incident occurred on 30 January 2019. Skrzypski said that the officer wore a shirt of the mobile police brigade (BRIMOB) and allegedly threatened to kill him. Jayawijaya district police chief Tonny Ananda denied the allegations, alleging that Skrzypski was attempting to discredit the professionalism of the Indonesian police. He added that the Polish citizen was detained under special conditions and only permitted officers were allowed to visit him.

Background

Members of the Jayawijaya District Police arrested Jakub Fabian Skrzypski and three Papuan men on 25 August 2018 around 12.20 pm at the Napua Military Post in Wamena. He was brought to the Wamena district police station and interrogated for approximately two hours before being released. The following day, police officers again arrested him in his hotel in Wamena. On 27 August 2018, he was brought to Jayapura and taken into custody at the Polda Papua office.

The police allegedly found ammunition during his arrest. Moreover, Skrzypski’s mobile phone contained incriminating videos and photos showing him with members of the Papuan armed resistance movement TPN-OPM. The police suspects that he was establishing a weapon trade with members of the separatist movement. Jakub Skrzypski denies that the police had found ammunition during his arrest and claims that he visited Papua as a tourist.