Trial Update: Four military members found guilty of premeditated murder – two defendants sentenced to life imprisonment

On 15 February 2023, judges at the Military Court III-19 in Jayapura found the four military members, Private Rahmat Amin Sese, Private Risky Oktav Muliawan, Private Robertus Putra Clinsman, and Private Pargo Rumbouw (see photo on top, source: Jubi) guilty of killing four indigenous Papuans and subsequently mutilating their bodies in the town of Timika on 22 August 2022. Privates Rahmat Amin Sese and Risky Oktav Muliawan were sentenced to life imprisonment.  Private Robertus Putra Clinsman was given a twenty-year sentence, while Private Pargo Rumbouw was sentenced to fifteen years. All defendants were dismissed from the Indonesian military.

The sentences differed because the panel of judges considered the differing roles of the defendants during the planning and implementation of the crime. According to the judges, the defendants Rahmat and Risky played a greater role from the planning to the disappearance of the bodies. The defendants Putra and Pargo were proven to be involved in the planning process but not in the mutilation of the bodies, even though they were at the site of the crime.

The Civil Society Coalition for the Enforcement of Law and Human Rights appreciated the verdict. They regard it as a “breath of fresh air for the struggle of the victims’ relatives and the Papuan people in general. The sentence is relatively severe, and the judges dared to pass sentence without being bound by the demands of the Military Oditur.” The verdict will set a precedent for other cases, particularly for two trials against the four civilian defendants, which are still ongoing at the Timika District Court.


On 24 January 2023., the panel of judges found Major (Inf) Helmanto Fransiskus Dakhi guilty and sentenced him to lifelong imprisonment. Two trials against the civilian defendants, Mr Roy Marten Howay (Trial number: 8/Pid.B/2023/PN Kota Timika), as well as Mr Andre Pudjianto Lee alias Jack, Mr Dul Umam, and Mr Rafles Lakasa (7/Pid.B/2023/PN Kota Timika), were launched on 26 January 2023. Both trials are ongoing.

Relatives have repeatedly expressed concern regarding the transparency and accessibility of the trials at the Timika District Court. The relatives were not allowed to record the court hearings. Moreover, the public court facilities were reportedly too small to accommodate the many visitors following the trial.