Again, Chapters on Death Penalty Reviewed by the Constitutional Court (MK)
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The Constitutional Court (MK), again, performed a preceding session to review several Chapters on death penalty as written in Law 22/1997 about Narcotics also known as the Narcotics Law toward the 1945 Constitution (UUD 1945), on Tuesday, February 6, 2007.


Previously, Lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis requested a judicial review pertaining several chapters about death penalty as recorded in case file No. 2/PUU-V/2007.  Now, Lawyer Denny Kailimang, S.H., M.H., representing Scott Anthony Rush, an Australian citizen, who was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court and has been imprisoned in Krobokan, Bali, proposed the same inquiry as written in case file No. 3/PUU-V/2007.


Through his lawyer, Rush described his rights to petition Law 22/1997 though he was not a citizen of Indonesia as required by Chapter 51, Article (1), Character a, Law 24/2003 about the Constitutional Court. The petitioner argued that the Indonesian Constitution is not only applied for Indonesians but also for those who happen to be in the Indonesian territory. Since, according to the petitioner, everyone must obey Indonesian laws and orders, thus whoever is sentenced under the Indonesian law should have the rights to take a legal effort without discrimination.


In his explanation, the petitioner asked the Constitutional Judges to grant all of his petitions and to declare that Chapter 80 Article (1) Character a, Chapter 80 Article (2) Character a, Chapter 80 Article (3) Character a, Chapter 81 Article (3) Character a, Chapter 82 Article (1) Character a, Chapter 82 Article (2) Character a, Chapter 83 Article (3) Character a, that include “…death penalty…” are contradictive with Chapters 28A and 28I in UUD 1945, also to state that they do not have a legal standing.


In connection with the term citizenship as written in Chapter 51 of the Constitutional Court Law, a member of the Judges Panel, Dr. H. Harjono, S.H., MCL., suggested the petitioner’s lawyer to further elaborate and to fortify his arguments regarding the interpretation of ‘citizenship.’ In addition, the Judge recommended the petitioner to “question the legal aspect of Chapter 51 if it potentially halts foreigners to appeal their cases to the Constitutional Court.”


Moreover, Judge H. Achmad Roestandi, S.H. suggested the petitioner to improving his petition by adding a word “or” in a sentence “….death penalty…” thus it would be read  “…or death penalty….” “If (the petitioner) only filed words “death penalty”, thus when the request is granted, the word “or” will still be in the Narcotics Law.”


When the advocate Denny Kailimang proposed to combine Rush’s case with the one represented by Lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis in one court session, the Chair of the Judges Panel, Prof. H.A. Mukthie Fadjar, S.H., M.S. explained two possible strategies. First, the two cases could be merged by changing their status from an individual to a group case. Second, the file numbers of the two remain separated but they would be put in a joint court session. “This (the later) once happened when the Court reviewed Law on Water Resources. If (the two lawyers) decided to combine (the cases), this could be resolved through a Constitutional order,” said Judge Mukthie Fadjar before closing the session.  (NM)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 | 15:04 WIB 286
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