Indonesia: 2.5 years sought for ivory traders in Riau

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 22 Sep 16;

Prosecutors have demanded two-and-a-half years' imprisonment for five ivory traders in Pekanbaru, Riau. They also sought a fine of Rp 15 million (US$1,142.16) for each of the defendants, or an additional six months in prison.

The prosecutors said all of the defendants had violated Article 40 of Law No.5/1990 on the conservation of natural resources and the ecosystem and Article 55 of the Criminal Code.

“The defendants also acknowledged the roles they had played [in wildlife trading] as stated in their indictment documents,” said Wilsa, one of the prosecutor team, during a trial session at Pekanbaru District Court on Tuesday afternoon.

“Factors that made their charges heavier were that they had traded wildlife body parts and damaged the ecosystem of rare animals protected by law. Meanwhile, what could mitigate their charges was that they were polite during their trial and had not previously been involved in any crime.”

Based on the prosecutors’ indictment documents, the five defendants, identified only as Ma’ruf, Nizam Akbar, Syafrimen, Wartono and Yusuf, were arrested by personnel from the Riau Police’s special crime investigation directorate in a luxury restaurant in Pekanbaru on May 23. They were waiting for the buyers of two elephant tusks they were offering. It was estimated the tusks, which are 170 centimeters long and weigh around 46 kilograms each, were selling for Rp 1 billion.

“We also hope the judges' panel can make a decision for the confiscation of the evidence, which we will hand over to the Natural Resources and Conservation Agency [BKSDA] so they can be used for research and scientific purposes,” said the prosecutors. (ebf)

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