JAKARTA (JP): The subversion trial of union leader Muchtar Pakpahan continued yesterday with presiding judge Djazuli P. Sudibyo prohibiting defense lawyers from directly questioning witnesses.
Djazuli ordered lawyers to raise their questions through him. One of the lawyers, Adnan Buyung Nasution, protested the decision strongly and said the procedure was "inefficient and confusing the witnesses".
Adnan also argued questioning witnesses through the judge "reduced the substance and essence of questions raised". Djazuli did not give a reason for his instruction. In a previous court session he ordered defense lawyers to question witnesses indirectly. The defense lawyers protested the order, though not as strongly as yesterday.
Yesterday, Djazuli rebuked Adnan for questioning labor activist Sunarty from the unrecognised Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union (SBSI) that Pakpahan chairs. Sunarty was the second witness that the prosecution produced yesterday, after SBSI deputy-chairman Yacub Ereste. Djakuli, however, dismissed Adnan's protest as having no basis in the Criminal Code Procedures. Adnan retorted that neither did Criminal Code Procedures regulate that all questions be passed to a witness through the judge.
Witnesses Sunarty and Yacub brought in by Prosecutor R. Moekiat, testified yesterday that they were unaware Pakpahan had made the allegedly anti-government and anti-President Soehato statements during various speeches he gave between 1995 and 1996.
Sunarty told the court that the defendant had been fighting to help workers obtain their rights through peaceful means.
Judge Djadzuli adjourned yesterday's hearing until Monday.
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