Bali Police Acting Extra-Jurisdictionally?
Singapore Lawyers Claim Balinese Police Officers Operating on Singapore Territory Outside Accepted Procedures
John Berthelsen writing for Asia Sentinel reports a “bizarre breach of national sovereignty” when a group of Indonesian policemen from Bali arrived unannounced in Singapore in what appeared to be an illegal attempt to arrest an Indonesian business man involved in a private commercial dispute with Indonesian business tycoon Tommy Winata.
Andy Yeo, the Singapore attorney for Hartono Karjadi who is embroiled in a civil dispute with Winata, said: “This is a grave infringement of Singapore’s sovereignty in an unlawful exercise of extraterritorial police powers by a foreign state. This is a very serious breach,”
Karjadi and Winata are reportedly at legal odds in a case involving the sale of shares in the Kuta Paradiso – a luxury resort located in South Kuta, Bali.
Winata is the chairman of the Artha Graha Group with interests in banking, property, agriculture, and fisheries. Asia Sentinel cited Winata’s 30-year history of business connections with the Indonesian military, leading politicians, and the Indonesian police.
Tempo Magazine reporting that the ongoing dispute between Hartono and Winata concerns Winata’s sale of shares in Geria Wijaya Prestige – the owner of the Kuta Paradiso.
Hartono’s lawyer has complained that Winata apparently managed to bypass sovereignty issues and protocols by sending Indonesian police to pursue Hartono in Singapore. The Indonesian Embassy and the Singapore Police have refused comment on the incident.
Yeo, who is employed by the Eldan Law Firm in Singapore, said: “We have conducted informal inquiries. We have found out that neither the Singapore Police Force nor the Indonesian police central command had any idea about this particular investigation or the fact that the Balinese police were in Singapore conducting operations.”
Hartono has file a formal legal complaint with the Singapore Police in the matter.
Hartono has been in Singapore since November 2018 undergoing medical treatment. According to Yeo’s office, the man was apparently under sedation when two Indonesia policeman approached him at Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
The two pain-clothes Balinese police escorted the medicated Hartono out of the hospital and tried to persuade him to return to Bali with them. A third attempt, undertaken at an apartment used by Hartono, alleges the policemen unsuccessfully tried to get Hartono to sign an official police statement. The final attempt was reportedly captured on a CCTV system.
Hartono’s lawyers have described the deployment of Balinese policemen to Bali as “highly irregular and unusual” in a letter sent to the Indonesian Ambassador in Singapore, suggesting the policemen were sent on the private hire of an unnamed third party.
Yeo concluded, saying: “clearly a situation whereby Indonesian policemen from a foreign police force (Bali) had been wrongfully exercising their police powers in another sovereign country and acting in excess of their jurisdiction. At the same time, there are (also) substantive allegations of criminal trespass and intimidation.”
Last year, the Bali Police had issued a “red notice” in Hartono’s name seeking Interpol’s help in apprehending the businessman that Winata claims filed criminally falsified documents in their onging legal battle