Cablegate: Goi Announces Sentence Cuts for Prisoners,
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1358/01 2301002
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181002Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3087
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001358
DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, S/CT, INL
DOJ FOR CRIM AAG SWARTZ, FBI FOR ETTUI/SSA ROTH,
NCTC WASHDC, NSC FOR J. BADER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER ASEC ID
SUBJECT: GOI ANNOUNCES SENTENCE CUTS FOR PRISONERS,
INCLUDING CONVICTED TERRORISTS
REF: 07 JAKARTA 2263
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The GOI granted sentence reductions of up
to six months to tens of thousands of inmates on Indonesian
Independence Day, August 17. Although seven convicted
terrorists received sentences cuts ranging from two to six
months, only one will now be eligible for release. A 2006
regulation allowed for the delay of eligibility for
remissions for those convicted of certain types of crimes,
including terrorism, but in 2008 no terrorists were given the
automatic sentence cuts. Those receiving reduced sentences
this year met minimum criteria and were given remissions for
good behavior. END SUMMARY.
2. (U) THOUSANDS RECEIVE REMISSION: Minister of Law and
Human Rights Andi Mattalatta granted sentence reductions of
up to six months to almost 60,000 of the country's prisoners
on Indonesian Independence Day, August 17. Approximately
5,000 inmates will be released in the coming days because the
remissions will cut the remainder of their sentences.
According to a Ministry statement, there are approximately
141,000 inmates across the country, but prison capacity is
only 89,000 inmates. Many observers note that the annual day
and Idul Fitri remissions help reduce prison overcrowding.
3. (SBU) TERRORISTS EFFECTED: According to the Ministry of
Law and Human Rights, seven convicted terrorists affiliated
with Islamic radical groups, including Jemaah Islamiyah (JI),
are among this group. In his remarks, Mattalatta said that
the terrorists receiving remissions had already served a
third of their sentence and had exhibited good behavior in
prison. The seven were:
-- Ahmad Rafiq Ridho aka Ali Zein aka Abu Husna Fuad Baraja,
a member of JI who was captured in 2005 and sentenced to
seven years in prison, received a two-month remission of his
-- Hasanuddin, who was arrested in 2005 for his involvement
in the Poso school-girl killings and sentenced to 20 years in
prison, received a five-month remission of his sentence.
-- Lili K Purnomo, who was arrested in 2005 for his
involvement in the Poso school-girl killings and sentenced to
14 years in prison, received a four-month remission of his
-- Ali Masykur Abdul Kadir, who was involved in the Bali I
bombing in 2002 and sentenced to 15 years in prison, received
a six-month remission of his sentence.
-- Syaiful Bahri, who was involved in the Australian Embassy
bombing in 2004 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, received
a five-month remission of his sentence.
--Ismail (no alias was provided so his involvement in
terrorist activities is not clear) received a five-month
remission of his sentence.
--Arifin aka Apin, who was convicted of texting a bomb threat
in 2007 to 26 people, received a "freedom" remission because
he had less than six months left on his sentence.
4. (U) BACKGROUND: A YEARLY RITUAL: The Minister of Law and
Human Rights grants sentence reductions to thousands of
Indonesian inmates each year on August 17, and again on Idul
Fitri (for Muslims) and Christmas (for Christians). This
action is mandated by Presidential Decree 69 of 1999, Law 12
of 1995 and other regulations. To be eligible for a
remission, prisoners must be serving more than a six-month
sentence, must not be sentenced to death or to life
imprisonment and must have exhausted all appeals. Prison
wardens submit for consideration the names of all convicts
who have shown good behavior during their incarceration.
Submission recommendations pass from the prison warden to the
head of the prison system to the Minister of Law and Human
Rights. Traditionally, the Minister has granted the sentence
reduction to all the names he receives (see reftel).
5. (U) In July 2006, the GOI drafted Governmental Regulation
28, which would delay remission eligibility to those
convicted of designated crimes such as terrorism, drug
JAKARTA 00001358 002 OF 002
trafficking, corruption and gross human rights violations.
The regulation stipulates that individuals convicted of any
of these crimes are not eligible for remission until they
have completed at least one-third of their original sentence.
This regulation was implemented for the first time in 2008,
when no convicted terrorist received a sentence cut.
6. (SBU) The 2009 annual day remissions demonstrated a
selective use of the 2006 regulation. The sentence
reductions of the seven terrorists listed above were not
automatic and other suggested terrorist remissions were
rejected. For example, eight convicted terrorists in Central
Java's Sragen penitentiary were recommended for the annual
remissions list, and the GOI rejected that recommendation.