One year after the killing and mutilation of 4 Papuans from Nduga – Sentences handed down by military tribunal more lenient than civilian court verdicts  

A year after the tragic murder and mutilation of four Papuan civilians from the Nduga District in Timika, the victims’ relatives commemorated the event in prayer and released a press statement. The incident occurred in the Mimika Baru district on 22 August 2022. Some dismembered body parts were discovered over the following days, while others remain missing. The perpetrators included six active military members of the Infantry Raider Brigade 20/Ima Jaya Keramo (IJK) Timika unit (see photo on top, source: Jubi), who are facing the military tribunal, and four civilians who are tried in court.

A military trial (trial number 404-K/PM.III-19/AD/XII/2022) against five members of the Brigif R20/IJK/3 Timika Military Command, namely Captain Dominggus Kainama, Private Rahmat Amin Sese, Private Risky Oktav Muliawan, Private Robertus Putra Clinsman, and Private Pargo Rumbouw, was launched at the III-19 Military Court in Jayapura. On 19 January 2023, the military prosecutor demanded four years imprisonment for the sixth military member defendant Major (Inf) Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi. Major Dakhi is the highest-ranking army member among the defendants. The demand for four years was a slap in the face of the victims’ relatives. The prosecutor’s demand was met with a tougher sentence, although still benevolent after an appeal.

The families called for continued attention to the case and emphasised the importance of upholding justice. They have asked all parties to monitor whether all perpetrators are serving their sentences in prison. The relatives strongly criticised the reduction of the ruling against the defendant, military member Major Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi. They represent the view that the revision of the verdict is unfair, considering that Major Dakhi had played a leading role in the murder of the four victims. Major Dakhi was initially sentenced to life imprisonment but was later reduced to 15 years after he appealed against the verdict. The families urged for a review of this decision by the military tribunal. Other military defendants received sentences ranging from life imprisonment to 15 years.

The sentences against the perpetrators tried under the military tribunal system remain more lenient than those handed down by the Mimika District Court. The civilian defendants Mr Andre Pudiianto Lee alias Jack, Mr Dul Umam, Mr Roy Marten Howay, and Mr Rafles Lakasa, were found guilty of premeditated murder and received varying sentences. Mr Roy Marten Howay, Mr Andre Pudjianto Lee, and Mr Dul Umam were sentenced to life imprisonment, while Mr Rafles Lakasa received an 18-year prison sentence.