ICJR Pushes the District Court of South Jakarta to Use Examination through Teleconference for Child Witness/Child Victim in the JIS Case

On 7 October 2014 in the District Court of South Jakarta, the trial of Jakarta International School (JIS) case had been performed with an agenda of child witness examination that was conducted in closed. Had been presented child witnesses who are key witnesses placed under the protection of Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK). In a closed trial, the five defendants who have separated case files were united and presented to hear the statements of two child witnesses.

Based on the information received and gathered by the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), that closed trial was not adequate for a child witness. Even though has been accompanied by the LPSK’s staffs. One of the child witness was still traumatized and less ready to give a statement. Other things also caused by technical problems which were not supportive such as a cramped and less child friendly session room. Procedure and examination standard that were not adequate, such as the position where the defendant seated was to close with the child witnesses, fatigue due to the court session took a long time, or the role of the companion who should be seated next to the child witnesses.

According to Supriyadi Widodo Eddyono the Director Executive of ICJR, “As long as those things above contribute in causing fear and fatigue to the child witness added to their traumatic experience as a victim who in the trial session is still has to directly face the defendant.” Due to this reason ICJR pushes so that the court uses other mechanism to protect the mentality of the child witness which is by performing the examination using a teleconference. “Teleconference mechanism can be performed in examination of cases like this, and our court has provided this facility, LPSK can also provide this if needed.”

According to ICJR, the examination model by using teleconference has been performed plenty of time. Such as in 2002, the Supreme Court, for the first time granted permission to the former President BJ Habibie to gave his statement through a teleconference in the case of non-budgetary funds of the Bureau of Logistics (Bulog) with the named defendant Akbar Tandjung. Witness examination by using teleconference was also performed in the case of East Timor Human Rights Trial, and also in the trial of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir in 2003. Article 5 and Article 9 paragraph (3) of the Law No. 13 of 2006 on Witness and Victim Protection has also regulated an examination by using teleconference. So there is actually no problem for a Judge and a trial to use an examination through a teleconference. The budget is also available in the Supreme Court.

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