Gov. Weak.....Lapindo Win....????

weaker than Lapindo
says activists

Human rights and environmental activists deem the government as powerless
when it comes to dealing with big corporations after the police stopped its
investigation against Lapindo Brantas Inc.
The company is widely believed to be responsible for the mudflow that
displaced thousands of residents in Sidoarjo, East Java.

“I believe there is a conspiracy behind the decision to drop the
investigation,” the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) executive
director, Berry Furgon, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
“The East Java Police do not have any solid reason behind their decision.”

The East Java Police detectives chief dropped the probe through a decision
letter signed on Aug. 5.
The police said that a lack of evidence was the reason they halted
investigation into Lapindo, a private oil and gas company partly owned by
the family of the Coordinating Minister for the People’s Welfare, Aburizal

“The police claim is nonsense. We have many experts who are ready to testify
that the mudflow was caused by Lapindo’s drilling activities, not a natural
disaster,” Berry said.

“The worst part is the government showing no commitment at all and becomes
more of the problem than the solution.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono himself is seemingly incapable of
pressuring Lapindo.”

Berry said as the government was powerless, Walhi was now trying to continue
the fight by submitting demands to the National Commission for Human Rights.

One of the commission’s member, Kabul Supriadi, told the Post that a special
investigative team had been established in response to Walhi’s request.

“The team’s first job is to gather solid evidence on the possibility whether
there is a gross violation of human rights or not in the case of Lapindo
mudflow issue,” said Kabul, who leads the team.

If the commission manages to find solid evidence of a gross violation of
human rights practice, then the case can be brought to the International
Court in The Hague.

The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) chairman, Patra Zen, said that
there was no need to search for more evidence regarding the possibility of a
gross human rights violation in the Lapindo case.

“The evidence is clear. It is a fact that a drilling by Lapindo was taking
place at the mudflow site. It is also a fact that world class geologists
agree that the mudflow was caused by the drilling activities, not by natural

“The main question now is whether the government ‘wants’ to do something to
Lapindo, not whether the government ‘can’ do something on the company.”

Patra also said that the East Java police had behaved totally

“The police said that they could not fulfil the demand of the prosecutors
for more solid evidence in the case dossiers.

“Such a statement reflects the police being unprofessional. The police let
the mudflow victims suffer for their incompetence.”

The YLBHI and Walhi are the initiators of a criminal probe request against

The police submitted the case dossiers to prosecutors on Oct. 30, 2006.
However, prosecutors returned the dossiers due to lack of hard evidence.

The police then completed the case files and re-submitted them to the
prosecutors only to be rejected again by prosecutors.

The last time the prosecutors returned the dossiers to the police was on
April 6, 2009.

Assistant to the East Java chief prosecutor for general crimes, Eddy
Rakamto, confirmed his office had returned the case files against Lapindo
because of, again, a lack of evidence. (*hdt*)

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