Jokowi’s Effort to Ask for A Review to the Supreme Court on The Forest Fire Case Is Deemed Futile

Jakarta, Indonesian CNN – Deputy Director of Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) Raynaldo Sembiring assessed review action taken by government regarding forest fire in Central Borneo is a futile effort.


According to him, the Supreme Court’s verdict is an accountability demand to the Government to execute mandates from our laws relevant to forest fire prevention and management.


“If they want to submit a review, or even ten reviews, they will never win. It’s hilarious that they want to submit a review to neglect their duties as mandated by law,” said Raynaldo in a pers conference at National WALHI office, North Tegal Parang Street, on Sunday (7/21).


Raynaldo stated that review taken by government is a betrayal of their own regulation which is President Instruction No. 11 Year 2015 Regarding Acceleration of Forest and Land Fire Control.


“Supreme Court’s verdict basically asking the government to carry out their liabilities related to forest fire. The 2015 President Instruction stipulates the same thing. So I’m afraid there is an inconsistency between the brain and mouth,” said Raynaldo.


“If they submit a review, they will betray their own regulation,” he emphasised.


Meanwhile, Riesqi Rahmadiansyah as the plaintiffs’ lawyer informed that his party will correspond with government so they won’t hamper the verdict’s execution by submitting a review.


According to him, the Supreme Court’s verdict on forest fire in Central Borneo is a collective win.


“The verdict demands government to create new policies and fix existing policies, so they should be able to execute it,” he said.


Arie Rompas, one of the plaintiffs and Forest Campaigner of Indonesia Greenpeace urged Government to execute all the demands in the verdict because forest fire has been a threat until now.


Arie suggested the government to fulfil the most urgent demands first such as publicize list of companies that cause forest fires, strong legal enforcement, and management of forest fires victims.


“Central Borneo is currently hazy with smoke. We observed, 25 hotspots has emerged from July 1st until 8th in Central Borneo,” said Arie.


“This is a strong alarm for government to execute this verdict. Government needs to establish a set of rules for forest fire victims,” he added.


Seeing this, Executive Director of WALHI Nur Hidayati urged the government to build lung-specialized hospitals in Central Borneo.


In addition, the government has to form a team to evaluate permits obtained by companies that cause forest fires.


“Those permits were issued In Soeharto’s reign and need to be evaluated. Because the areas are really excessive,” said Nur.


Nur said that approximately 60% of land have been allocated for concession. Majority of it, she explained, are located in critical areas such as peatlands, natural forests, and conservation areas.


“Forestry industries for instance has 15 million hectares, palm oil plantation has around 12 million hectares, and mining has 5 million hectares from the total areas,” she said.


Supreme Court denied cassation from government as defendant regarding forest fire case in Central Borneo. The defendants are President Joko Widodo, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Minister of Health Nila F Moeloek, and Central Borneo Governor Sugianto Sabran.


Supreme Court upholds appeal court’s verdict that declared Jokowi and his state officials conducted wrongful actions that led to the forest and land fires. Cassation verdict no. 3555 K/PDT/2018 was decided on July 16th 2019.


This lawsuit was filed by citizens who sued the state for forest fire case. The plaintiffs are Arie Rompas, Kartika Sari, Fatkhurrohman, Afandi, Herlina, Nordin, and Mariaty.


One of the demands is for government to create an operating regulation aiming to protect the environment and provide service and healthcare facilities for public.


Source: Indonesia, CNN. “PK Jokowi Di Kasus Karhutla Dinilai Bakal Sia-Sia.” Diakses 22 Juli 2019