Aksi Rabuan Walhi Riau

Pre-trial lawsuit filed by Wahana Lingkungan Hidup (Walhi) Riau against PT Sumatera Riang Lestari (SRL) related to SP3 case sentenced by Riau Police ended with rejection. The verdict was delivered by a single judge Sorta Ria Neva in a hearing held by District Court of Pekanbaru, Riau, on Tuesday afternoon (22/11/2016). In the case, Riau Police served as the defendant, whom issued the SP3. Meanwhile, Walhi served as the pleader.

The single judge Sorta said that the rejection of pre-trial petition was filed based on several considerations. The petition was rejected by charging the court fee of Rp 5,000 to the pleader.

The verdict certainly did not please the pleader because Walhi assumed that the termination of PT SRL case as a corporation engaged in the field of Industrial Plantation Forest (HTI) was not in line with the procedure. In this case, Walhi considered that Riau Police should impose sanction of negligence to corporations supplying raw materials to pulp and paper company PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) as an act of negligence.

However, the judge somehow had a different opinion. The imposing of SP3 by Riau Police was considered to be valid and in line with the existing rules. The SP3 was even considered to be able to fulfill the principles of environment protection and management. The judge also stated that Riau Police as the defendant had made a police report against PT SRL on September 12, 2015. They had also issued an investigation warrant and had sent a notification letter of commencement of investigation (SPDP) to the public prosecutor in accordance with Article 109 of Criminal Procedure Code .

Other considerations expressed by the judge related to the rejection of SP3 lawsuit was Riau Police’s efforts in summoning pro justitia which include detention, arrest, investigation and confiscation. A hearing had also been held revealing that fires on the land that has been occupied by a group of people is on PT SRL’s concession area.

From the results of investigation, it was also revealed that the area on fire was an Acacia Tracepera cropland ready to be harvested and the Annual Work Plan for year 2015 had been issued. Thus, the investigation was terminated. Based on consideration of lack of evidence, the judge decided that Walhi’s petition as groundless and must be rejected.

Such verdict was not accepted by Walhi and a number of activists as well as students presented in the courtroom without resistance. Some activists had taken actions to span a banner that read “Revoke the SP3 now, do no not let six million of Riau people down” in the courtroom during the continued trial of pre-trial lawsuit. They also sat in silence while wearing a mask as a sign of their dissatisfaction towards the injustice of the law. Meanwhile, some students shouted for the legal justice to be applied in the case.

The defeat of pre-trial lawsuit against corporations in District Court of Pekanbaru was the second case after a local resident, Ferry, received the same defeat in his lawsuit against 15 corporations whom caused forest fire in Riau in 2015; one of them was PT SRL.