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The Slow Moving Wheels of Justice in Bali

Best Western Resort Owner, Ketut Wijana, Named as Criminal Suspect in Scofflaw Kuta Hotel Operation

Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Kuta, Best Western Resort, Anak Agung Gede, Suryatin Lijaya, Ketut Wijana, zoning, operating license, Bali Police, criminal
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The long-stalled case of the Best Western Resort Kuta, pitting Bandung regency officials against a Balinese hotel owner operating an unlicensed accommodation business,  has now moved to its next round.

Ketut Wijana Named as Suspect in Criminal Complaint

Radar Bali reports that the Bali police have finally taken action on a complaint filed against the hotel in June 2011 by lawyers representing Badung’s regent Anak Agung Gede Agung. Police have formally named the owner of the hotel’s owner, Ketut Wijana, as a suspect in a criminal proceeding, threatening to apprehend the Balinese businessman if he does not respond to police summons for further questioning.

Reports suggest the police complaint pending against Wijana concern zoning violations and Wijana's attempt to subvert justice by removing an official notice installed outside the hotel by the Badung administration.

Police Complaint Filed Almost One Year Ago

Following the latest news, the regent of Badung, A.A. Gede Agung, has expressed his appreciation to the Denpasar Police for finally processing his complaint detailing violations and criminal acts committed by the Best Western Resort Kuta. “In my capacity as the regent of Badung, I want to express my appreciation to the police because the case of the Best Western is now moving forward. And, that (this is happening) is proven by the fact that several members of my staff have been called as witnesses,” said Gede Agung.

Gede Agung refused to comment publicly on the naming of Wijana as a criminal suspect in the case, saying he is leaving the processing of the case to the police.

No Comment by Wijana

Efforts by Radar Bali to contact Ketut Wijana via his handphone were repeatedly unsuccessful. Repeated calls received an SMS stating: “Sorry, I do not recognize your number. Please SMS your identity.” Despite sending a message clarifying the newspaper’s desire to obtain an official comment from Wijana, reporters were unable to make a connection with the man now listed as a criminal suspect by the Bali police.

Separately, police have told the press that because Wijana is only accused of a zoning violation they have no immediate plans to take him into police custody.

The charges against Wijana for violating Zoning Law Number 26 of 2007 is a ground breaking case in Balinese jurisprudence, representing the first attempt to enforce the controversial zoning law.

A leading Balinese attorney, Suryatin Lijaya, filed the police complaint on behalf of the regency in June 2011 after repeated calls failed to close the hotel built in an area closed to the construction of hotel accommodation. Further investigation by Badung authorities disclosed the hotel has no principle permit, building permits or operating licenses as required by law.

Related Articles

[How Goes the Best Western Kuta?]

[Crime and Punishment in Bali]

[Keeping the Rule of Law Under Cover]

[Warming to the Fight]

[Best Western Kuta Changes its Name & Fights Back]

[All the Best Westerns End in a Showdown]

[Best Western Kuta in Bali Posted and Closed]

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