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  • » 09/16/2006, 00.00


    Case of three Catholics to go to international court

    Benteng Reges

    Members of their legal team said the Court in Geneva has the power to review the verdict of capital punishment. Yet more rumours have fixed the execution date for shortly after the sacred month of Ramadan.

    Poso (AsiaNews) – The lawyers of three Catholics on death row will take their case before the International Criminal Court in Geneva, as per a human rights convention ratified by Jakarta, to safeguard the three men's right to life and to denounce irregularities of Indonesian trials. This was revealed yesterday in the capital by Peter Selestianus SH, chairman of PADMA (the lawyers' organization defending the three men).

    Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwa were condemned to death because they were found guilty of masterminding a massacre of 200 Muslims in Poso during inter-faith clashes in 2000. Their case has drawn international attention: they were convicted by a trial riddled with illegalities, like witnesses who were not listened to and evidence that was rejected by the court. Even the pope called on the Indonesian president Susilo to grant clemency to the three Catholics.

    Selestianus said Muchtar Pakpahan SH, a human rights activist, would take PADMA's message to Geneva, explaining that the decision had been taken "to bring to light the injustices taking place in Indonesian trials."
    The lawyer said "the death penalty of the three Catholics goes against humanity and is an enormous abuse of human rights. The International Criminal Court has the authority to review the verdict."

    In the meantime, rumours continue to abound about the "imminent" execution of the three men. The date for their execution had originally been set for 12 August and has been postponed in extremis. A reliable source of the central Sualwesi police confirmed that a meeting has taken place between the police chief of the province, Superintendent Badrotin Haiti, and his counterpart for Palu, Mahfud Mannan SH.

    The meeting behind closed doors was held on 14 September to seek to hasten the execution date. The source said the two men "expressed a common interest in killing the three Catholics. It appears they have proposed that the execution should take place immediately after the holy month of Ramadan but the exact date and place were not decided."

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    See also

    30/09/2006 INDONESIA
    Police chief responsible for Catholics' execution attacked

    A group of residents of Pamona, central Sulawesi, attacked General Haiti when he went to visit a police station there. Many Christians in the area hold him responsible for the execution by firing squad of three Catholics in Palu.

    02/02/2006 INDONESIA
    Some 30 witnesses prepared to speak on behalf of Catholic death row inmates
    A group of lawyers from various religious backgrounds want the death sentences reversed and name 16 suspects they believe are behind the Poso clashes. Plot scenario against the three Catholics is reconstructed.

    10/05/2006 INDONESIA
    Three days to go before Catholics are executed
    Indonesia's Supreme Court rejects second appeal. As prescribed by law, Tibo, da Silva and Riwu, charged for the sectarian violence in Poso, are in isolation three days before their appointment with the firing squad.

    21/08/2006 INDONESIA
    Nunciature in Jakarta hoping the lives of three Catholics are spared
    Mgr Novatus, counsellor at the Vatican mission, expresses hope that the fate of Tibo and his fellow prisoners will turn out for the better.

    14/04/2006 INDONESIA
    Former Indonesian President against execution of three Catholics
    Well-known human rights campaigner Abdurrahman Wahid says the lives of Tibo and fellow prisoners should be spared. They are the only people sentenced to death for involvement in a conflict whose causes even the current head of state does not want to see elucidated. An NGO questions Susilo's moral integrity.

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