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Mob 1: Police 0

300 Police and Court Officials Barred from Taking Control of Hotel Bali Kuta Residence by Hundreds of ‘Local Citizens’

(10/29/2012) Efforts by 300 law enforcement officials drawn from the Bali police headquarters, mobile police brigade (Brimob), and Denpasar and Kuta police precincts - led personally by the vice-chief of the Denpasar Police Putu Mahasena, and accompanied by officers of the Surabaya Commercial Court were forcibly prevented from executing a court order on the Hotel Bali Kuta Residence (BKR) on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

The massive grouping of police and court officials were barred from taking over the hotel complex by what Denpost describes as hundreds of "muscled men" wearing white ribbons and the owner of the BKR.

Police officials, fearing an escalation in violence and a breakdown in civil order, did not charge the roadblocks set up on the access road manned by the men who also occupied the Hotel’s lobby area.

The police, wearing full anti-riot gear, took a position some 100 meters from the BKR Hotel. Meanwhile, negotiations took place between the owner of the BKR, Gusti Agung Made Agung representing the owners and the police.

Eventually, a police representative, Police Commissioner Alit, said that as a representative of the Bali police his officers were only performing their assigned duties and had no desire to enter into open combat with members of the local community.

The judicial seizure of the BKR Hotel is linked to the bankruptcy of the property's developer and efforts by creditors to assume control of the investment. Both the bankruptcy and the decision of the Surabaya Commercial Court surrendering control of the hotel to the creditors are being resisted and under judicial appeal.

Ignoring threats of violence from those opposed to the takeover, representatives of the Surabaya Commercial Court read aloud the judicial decision, albeit at a distance from the actual property. After reading the court’s decision, the court official said their job was done and the matter now rests with the curator.

A spokesman for the developers insisted the court's decision cannot be enforced while the decision is under review and the process that declared the project bankrupt was the subject of a criminal investigation.

Agus Samijaya, speaking for the developers and those barring official access to the BKR Hotel said: “Where’s the justice? Law without morality is bullshit, and this is clearly a robbery!”

By mid-day the large group of police and court officials withdrew from the roads leading to the KBR Hotel, leaving the “muscled men” still guarding the property.