For the first time, investigators from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry have charge is seeking multiple charges based on two separate laws against a man suspected of illegally clearing parts of a forest on Bangka island, the ministry said,
Investigators from two separate section within the ministry have each submitted their draft indictment against a 44-year-old man only identified by his initials AZ to the Attorney General’s Office and the Central Bangka District Prosecutor’s Office earlier this month, the ministry’s Directorate General for Law Enforcement said in a press release published on its official website on the weekend.
Supartono who heads the investigators for crime of forest destruction at the directorate general said that AZ would face a charge of engaging in illegal mining in forest areas based on Law number 18 of 2013 on the Prevention and Eradication of Forest Destruction and of destroying the environment based on the Law Number 32 of 2009 on the Protection and Management of the Environment, .
“The perpetrator would be heavily punished because it uses more than one law. We will develop the application of this multi-door (charge) to act against environmental crimes and other forest crimes, including law enforcement against the crime of money laundering,” Sustyo Iriyono, Director for Prevention and Safeguarding of Forests of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry was quoted in the same press release as having said.
Iriyono also aired hope that heavy punishment would act as a deterrent for others
“We are also currently investigating other perpetrators. We see that AZ did not work alone. The use of multiple, multi-door charges is a historical step in law enforcement in the field of natural resources in Indonesia. This is the first time that we used the multiple charges based on more than one law,” Iriyono said that he hoped the court would hand down the most severe sanctions against the defendant so that it could also act as a deterrent for others
Supartono said that under the first charge, AZ faces jail time of between eight years and 15 years as well as fines of between Rp 10 billion to Rp 100 billion while Harianto, the head of the Law Enforcement Section of the Sumatra Area Environment and Forestry Office was quoted by the same press release as saying that under the second charge AZ was liable to face between three to ten years in jail and fines of between Rp 3 billion and Rp 10 billion.
The two teams of investigators have also respectively and separately submitted the necessary evidence.