BPN asks MK and LPSK to protect witnesses

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(photo: IO/Dani)

IO, Jakarta – Nicholay Aprilindo, legal counsel for the National Committee to Elect Prabowo-Sandi (BPN), has declared that the 2019 General Election Results Dispute (PHPU) currently being heard in the Constitutional Court (MK) intends to fight for voters who feel they have been cheated. As such, the aim of the BPN lawsuit is not solely for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates number 02.

“Why are we so persistent in pursuing legal action: it is because what we are fighting for is a human right, from the expression of the will of the people, bestowed in the April 17 2019 presidential election. We thus wish to uphold democracy and to achieve substantive justice,” Nicholay stated in a discussion on “Jaminan Hukum Saksi dan Hakim Sidang Sengketa Pilpres 2019” (“Legal Guarantee for Witnesses and Judges for the Session of the 2019 Presidential Election Dispute”) at Prabowo-Sandi Media Center, Jalan Sriwijaya I, South Jakarta, Monday (06/17/2019).

Nicholay asserted that in this case Prabowo-Sandi only stand as a vehicle entrusted as candidates for President and Vice President. Therefore, said Nicholas, the people who expressed their choice of Prabowo-Sandi in the 2019 Presidential Election felt cheated, and demanded for justice to be enforced. “The struggle carried out by the legal team led by Bambang Widjojanto and team is not simply the problem of Prabowo-Sandi’s candidacy. We have determined that the lawsuit in the Constitutional Court is for the sake of upholding truth and justice and for the sake of the people at large,” stated Nicholay.

On the same occasion, the Deputy Chairperson of BPN Prabowo-Sandi, Priyo Budi Santoso, assessed the process and stages of the 2019 Election as the worst yet in the Era of Reform. One reason, he said, looking at data from the Election Commission (KPU), as many as 500 members of the Voting Organizing Group (KPPS) passed away during the vote recapitulation process, following the actual voting. “Of the many indicators, the death of over 500 KPPS officers was never witnessed in previous elections,” he said.

Furthermore, the Secretary General of the Partai Berkarya said that he would present witnesses in the trial at the Constitutional Court which would reveal astonishing phenomena. Therefore, for the sake of witnesses’ freedom to reveal fraud that occurred during the election, the BPN team has asked LPSK (the Witness and Victim Protection Agency) to provide protection to witnesses, submitting a letter of application to the Constitutional Court at the hearing on Tuesday (06/18/2019). “We also ask the Court to protect witnesses. Likewise, as LPSK which not only provides protection for witnesses of criminal cases, as we want witnesses to be able to speak freely about what they saw,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Jokowi-Ma’ruf legal team, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, criticized Prabowo-Sandi’s Legal Counsel Team for having visited and asked LPSK to provide protection for witnesses and their experts in the dispute over the presidential election results in the Constitutional Court (MK). Yusril stated he suspected that the request of Prabowo-Sandi’s Legal Counsel Team to LPSK were proof that they could not bring witnesses who could really provide credible testimony in the trial. He was doubtful that such witnesses presented by Prabowo’s side could convey comprehensive facts. “Well, because we were unable to present (witnesses), then (Prabowo’s camp claimed) they were scared, felt terrorized, and so on,” Yusril said.

According to him, there has not been a single effort from his side to pressure or obstruct witnesses submitted by Prabowo’s Legal Counsel Team for the trial. In fact, the Jokowi-Ma’ruf legal team assured witnesses who felt feared or terrorized to ask for protection from the police. If this happens, he believes the police would be able to provide such protection. “We thus reject the effort to influence opinion as though witnesses to be presented are being threatened,” Yusril said.

Meanwhile, a member of the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Legal Team, I Wayan Sudirta, said that the BPN’s move to ask for witness protection was a psychological tactic employed by the Prabowo-Sandi camp, so that their witnesses and experts could claim pressure because of terror. “This is the same as discrediting the government, as if there is terror, the government is poor at being able to protect its citizens,” he said firmly. According to him, the witnesses and experts are not protected by their rights, in carrying out their duties at the Constitutional Court. “We have to explain to the people: please don’t fall for a strategy like this,” he concluded. (D. Ramdani, Raihan)