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Constitutional Court granted appeal for environment law judicial review

Jakarta, Ekuatorial – Indonesia’s Constitutional Court had granted the appeal on the country’s Law on Environmental Protection and Management, on Wednesday (21/1), in Jakarta.

The appeal was submitted by Bachtiar Abdul Fatah, former General Manager of Sumatra Light South on PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia, who was also convicted for bio remediation corruption case on the same company. Fatah was sentenced with four years in prison and Rp 200 millions of fine by the Supreme Court, on October 2013. He was found guilty along with four other employees and two project contractors. The court found them guilty for causing the state to lose US$23,361 million or Rp 200 billion.

Fatah submitted for a judicial review on one of the clause which stated that toxic waste management should earned permit from Minister, Governor, and Mayor/Head of district in accordance to their authorities. The Court had decided that it was unconstitutional for not giving chances for those applying for extended permits. Hence, the court added a sentence that for those still seeking to extend its permits and on-going process must be considered had obtained permits.

As a result of the decision, for those still in the process to extend their permits if they have yet to receive their permits on expired date then ‘it must be considered that they have obtained the permit’, stated one of the judge, Patrialis Akbar.

In addition, the court had also granted the proposal that all violations must be charged under minister of environment.

Muhammad Alim, one of Constitutional Court judge, said that action to generalize all environmental crimes, which can not be considered as sole crime, was also injustice. The law might, the court decided, be able to be misused for not stipulating law enforcers to coordinate with minister of environment.

Maqdir Ismail, lawyer for defendant, said they were very happy for the Court decision and would make it as new evident for judicial review over his client’s case. Up to date, Ministry of Environment and Forestry is still setting up press release on the case. IGG Maha Adi

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