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Awaiting a Formal Explanation

Lawyers Defending Governor and Province in Environmental Suit Vie for Time In Answering WALHI’s Complaint

(2/15/2013) The legal proceeding by Bali’s Friends of the Earth (WALHI) against Bali’s Governor and the Province continued on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 in a Denpasar Courtroom.

The suit filed by WALHI challenges the legality of the lease granted by Governor Pastika to a private firm, PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari, for a 55-year-lease on the 122.22 hectare publicly-owned mangrove forest known as Taman Hutan Raya surrounding Bali’s airport.

The Bali Post
reports that the legal team representing the province have for the second time postponed their response to the WALHI legal challenge put before the Administrative Court (PTUN).

One of the lawyers representing the Governor and the Province, Simon Nahak, told the Court that his legal team is still unprepared to formally respond to the WALHI suit. Nahak said the team of lawyers needs to first coordinate with a number of government departments, including the Forestry and Environmental Departments - in order to properly and fully respond.

Said Nahak: “This is a serious problem because problems connected to the environment are both local and international issues. Because of this, we consider this sufficiently serious and want to present a complete response.”

Meanwhile, seven of the ten lawyers appointed to represent WALHI before the Court expressed their disappointment with the failure of the Governor’s legal team to file their response. WALHI’s lawyers complain that their suit has been in the hands of the Defendants for more than two weeks.

The chairman of WALHI and also a lawyer, Wayan “Gendo” Suardana, is eager that his organization obtains a timely response to their suite against. He is hopeful that the response will be heard when the Court reconvenes for the third time on February 20, 2013.

“The hearing has been postponed for another week. We will see in one week if the Governor’s legal team is ready or not. If we include the coming week, that means the Governor’s lawyers have held our complaint for three weeks. That’s long enough,” complained Gendo.

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