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Indonesia under fire over death-row convicts in Malaysia

Publication Date : 25-10-2012


An Indonesian non-governmental organisation stated yesterday that the government had not provided legal aid for two brothers on death row for murder in neighbouring Malaysia.

Migrant Care executive director Anis Hidayah confirmed that the two Indonesians, who were found guilty of murdering an ethnic Indian burglar who broke into their lodgings, were represented by lawyers hired by their employer, not by the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur or the Indonesian Task Force for Troubled Migrant Workers, as had been claimed.

"We are very disappointed with the Indonesian government, which has done nothing to protect the two Indonesian citizens. If they had proper representation, they would not be facing harsh punishment," Hidayah, who was visiting the two convicts at Kajang Prison in Selangor, Malaysia, told The Jakarta Post by telephone yesterday.

Migrant Care focuses on providing legal advocacy for migrant workers.

Manpower and Transmigration Ministry spokesman Suhartono said in Jakarta that the government had provided maximum legal aid to the two convicts even though they had entered and worked in Malaysia illegally.

"The government has given maximum legal aid to the two Indonesian citizens," Suhartono said.

He declined to identify the lawyers supposedly hired by the Indonesian Embassy to represent the two defendants during their trial at the Shah Alam Higher Court in Selangor.

Frans Hiu, 22, and Dharry Frully, 20, from East Kalimantan, were sentenced to death on October 18, after they were found guilty of murdering Kharti Raja on Dec. 3, 2010.

The murder happened when the two and a Malaysian co-worker were awakened from their sleep by the presence of Raja in their lodgings.

He had failed to gain entry through the back door and instead attempted to enter the shop-house through the ceiling, but startled them awake when he fell through it.

The two brothers tied Raja up and dragged him outside and waited for the Malaysian police to arrive. They said the burglar was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they were therefore able to apprehend him easily.

Hiu told the court that he and his brother did not kill Raja.

Hiu said further that the burglar was dying when they dragged him out of the premises.

However, the indictment stated that the two killed the victim through blunt force trauma.

Hidayah called on the Indonesian government to hire a professional lawyer to appeal to the Supreme Court or apply for amnesty from the Malaysian king to save the brothers from the death sentence.

Their father Bong Jit Min, 55, met with House of Representatives Commission IX on labour and health affairs yesterday to ask for the House's help to save his sons from the gallows.

Rieke Diah Pitaloka, a member of the House commission, said her commission had coordinated with the Foreign Ministry to provide legal advocacy to the two migrant workers.


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