Criminal Law Expert Strengthens Background to Challenge PSK Law

Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat chairing the panel petition revision hearing of the material judicial review of Law No. 31 of 2014 on Witness and Victim Protection, Monday (12/5/2022). Photo by MKRI.

Monday, December 5, 2022 | 15:48 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) held another judicial review hearing of Law No. 31 of 2014 on the Amendment to Law No. 13 of 2006 on Witness and Victim Protection (PSK Law) on Monday, December 5, 2022. The petition No. 109/PUU-XX/2022 was filed by Muh. Ibnu Hajar Rahim, a lecturer at President University and a criminal law expert. The hearing was presided over by Constitutional Justices Arief Hidayat (panel chair), Suhartoyo, and Enny Nurbaningsih.

The Petitioner, who attended the hearing virtually, conveyed the revisions to the petition, which included additions to the Court’s authority in the a quo case, strengthening his legal standing giving explanation of his constitutional impairment due to the norm being petitioned, and his legal standing as an individual citizen as proven by a KTP (resident identity card) and identification as a lecturer at President University.

“[I] also attached evidence in the form of academic papers that [I] wrote as a criminal law expert. [I] also include evidence of [my] statement at Jambi district court as a criminal law expert. [I] also include [my] comparative study of international conventions,” he said.

The Petitioner also elaborated the contradiction between the a quo article and its elucidation and the 1945 Constitution. He also added the minutes of meetings of the formulation of the PSK Law, where the legislatures provided protection to experts who give statements in court. He appealed to the Court to grant his petition.

Also read: Protection over Experts Who Give Statements in Criminal Cases Questioned

The Petitioner argued that Article 10 paragraph (1) of the PSK Law and its elucidation had violated Article 28D paragraph (1) and Article 28I paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution.

Article 10 paragraph (1) of the PSK Law reads, “Witnesses, Victims, Justice collaborators, and/or Informants cannot be legally prosecuted, whether through criminal or civil court upon the testimony and/or statement that will be, is or have been given, unless such testimony or statement was given not in good faith.” Meanwhile, its elucidation reads, “What is meant by ‘giving testimony not in good faith’ in this provision, among others, is giving false testimony, committing perjury, and being involved in an evil conspiracy.”

At the preliminary hearing, the Petitioner asserted that the norms were uncertain, unfair, and discriminatory as they only protect witnesses, victims, justice collaborators, and/or informants from criminal or civil lawsuits after giving testimony or statement, but do not provide the same protection to experts who give statements in criminal cases, who could be sued for their statements as experts during investigation.

This is despite statements by experts being some of the pieces of evidence in the evidentiary process at trial. In criminal cases, they have the same position as other pieces of evidence as referred to in Article 184 paragraph (1) letter b of the Criminal Procedure Code (KUHAP). “An expert who provides a statement should be respected, appreciated, and protected because they are able to assist law enforcers in explaining a case according to their expertise. So, in this law, there is no guarantee for an expert who gives testimony during a criminal trial,” the Petitioner emphasized.

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 12/6/2022 09:52 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Monday, December 05, 2022 | 15:48 WIB 213