The government is again pushing for the ratification of a global statute
establishing the International Criminal Court, a topic on which
deliberations stalled in the House of Representatives since 2004.
will ratify the Rome Statute soon,” presidential adviser Albert
Hasibuan said on Wednesday. Ratification of the statute, which Indonesia
signed in 1998, will allow citizens to be tried at the International
Criminal Court in The Hague, a condition some have been anxious about
given the country’s checkered human rights record.
to a strong political will to solve [the deadlock] at the House. The
government has shown its political will to solve the cases of human
rights abuse,” Albert said. "Actually, the content of the Rome Statute
is no different to laws and regulations [Indonesia] has already
Trimedya Panjaitan, a senior lawmaker from the
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said the opposition
party supported the government’s efforts to expedite the ratification.
the Rome Statute will have a positive effect because there are a lot of
human rights violations in Indonesia ... that have never been
resolved,” he said.
But international law expert Hikmahanto
Juwana suspected a hidden motive behind the government’s sudden renewed
interest in ratifying the statute, saying that it might be connected to
the upcoming presidential election.
Among those leading recent
polls is retired general Prabowo Subianto, who has been accused of
orchestrating the kidnapping of student activists in 1997-98 during his
time as commander of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus).
is also accused of orchestrating a series of bloody riots in Jakarta
just days after the downfall of former president Suharto.
presidential hopeful is former military commander Wiranto, who is
accused of gross human rights violations during East Timor’s ballot
seeking independence from Indonesia in 1999.
Human rights groups
alleged Wiranto led a band of pro-Indonesian militias to stir up
security threats in East Timor, leaving thousands dead.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with Prabowo on Monday and Hikmahanto
believed the men discussed the statute. The meeting also coincided with a
visit to the ICC’s headquarters in The Hague by Deputy Justice Minister
"The question is, ‘Was the deputy minister
told by the SBY government to go to the ICC?’ The government has never
been committed to ratifying [the statute] before,” the University of
Indonesia professor said, referring to Yudhoyono by his initials.
"I suspect that the meeting [between Prabowo and Yudhoyono] is connected to ... Denny’s visit to the Netherlands.”
Rome Statute stipulates that the ICC can hear international criminal
cases related to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and
crimes of aggression.
The Great Indonesia Movement Party
(Gerindra), which Prabowo founded, denied that ratifying the statute
would hurt Prabowo’s chances for the presidency but added that the party
would reject the government’s attempt at ratification.
the ICC [statue] would have a negative impact on the legal sovereignty
of Indonesia,” Gerindra lawmaker Martin Hutabarat said. "Our legal
process has declared Prabowo innocent. This is something already
dismissed by a court.”
Source: The Jakarta Globe