Indonesia: Plantation executive on trial for fires

Jakarta Post 20 May 16;

Prosecutors have demanded two years’ prison for Frans Katihokang, the operations manager of oil palm plantation company PT Langgam Inti Hibrindo ( PT LIH ), for his alleged involvement in lighting forest fires in Langgam district in Pelalawan, Riau.

Pangkalan Kerinci prosecutor Novri said the defendant had failed to properly mitigate the fires that later razed half of the company’s 533 hectares of plantations.

“The defendant violated Article 99 and Article 115 of the Environmental Management and Protection Law,” he said at a hearing at the Pangkalan Kerinci District Court.

The fire razed Frans’ company’s plantation, which stands on peatland, on July 27, 2015, allegedly because of a lack of firefighting equipment in the area. The fire was tamed four days later after a team of firemen came from another village. “As part of the company’s top management, Frans had the ability to ensure there was firefighting equipment on site,” he said.

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