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In Defense of Human Rights

National Human Rights Commission Issues Formal Call for Delay in Imprisonment of Anand Krishna

(12/30/2012) Supporters of Anand Krishna say that the National Committee on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) have sent a letter to the chairman of the Indonesian Supreme Court, the Attorney General's Office and Police Headquarters requesting that any plans to arrest the spiritual and secular leader be indefinitely delayed.

As reported by Nusa Bali, the letter from Komnas HAM urged the Supreme Court and the Attorney General to delay the execution of the order calling for Krishna’s arrest to begin serving a 2.5 year sentence for sexual molestation. The delay requested by Komnas HAM is to allow Krishna the opportunity to demonstrate to the court the many legal flaws in the Supreme Court decision that overruled his complete exoneration by the lower courts.

Prashant Gangtani, the Son of Krishna, said in a press release: “We wish to express our appreciation to the Komnas HAM for their written recommendation. This letter confirms the indications of human rights violations against Anand Krishna. We salute Komnas HAM for their courage to spotlight the irregularities and legal flaws during the course of the trial and the resulting legal decisions – clearly show violations of the law and human rights.”

The Jakarta High Court, in a decision later appealed by prosecutors who obtained a 2.5-year sentence from the Supreme Court, found Krishna innocent. The innocent verdict, according to Krishna’s defenders, was final under Indonesian law and, as a metter of law, not subject to further judicial review.

Following a pattern of anomalies and legal inconsistencies that have permeated the course of Krishna’s prolonged trial, the written appeal filed with the Supreme Court by public prosecutor Martha Berliana contained 10 pages of “cut-and-paste”  erroneous legal citations dealing with copyright law, completely non-germane to the case against Krishna. In filing her appeal of Krishna's innocent verdict, Berliana also manipulated the court record of evidence, changing the identity of expert witness statements.

These mistakes, however, remained undiscovered by the Supreme Court judges who reviewed the case and ruled in favor of Beliana's desire to overturn the innocent verdict and order the jailing of Krishna.

In a further twist, Agung Yamanie, the presiding Supreme Court Judge who ruled against Krishna, has become the first  High Court judge to be dishonorably fired from his post after it was found that he had manipulated and failed his administrative responsibilities in other decisions issued by the Court.

Another Supreme Court judge involved in the ruling against Krishna, Zaharuddin Utama, is currently under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) in connection with bribes he allegedly received while sitting on the bench.

Krishna has been resident in Bali following the Supreme Court ruling, where he has taken refuge, vowing that he was prepared to forfeit  his life in the struggle against for justice against  what he views as an illegal ruling by the courts.

Prior to the letter issued by Komnas HAM in support of Anand Krishna, government prosecutors had issued three warning letters demanding that the spiritual leader report to prison to begin serving his jail sentence. It believed that the police and prosecutors were be preparing to forcibly take Krishna into custody.

Krishna’s supporters are hopeful that the letter just issued by the Komnas HAM will forestall any jail term while the case undergoes a thorough judicial review.

Related Articles

[The Coming Showdown]

[A Struggle for Justice]

[The Strange Case of Anand Krishna]