General Gatot`s apology yet to demonstrate military`s commitment: NGO

General Gatot`s apology yet to demonstrate military`s commitment: NGO

Hendardi. (ANTARA/Teresia May)

However, it is rather the denial of the principle of equality before the law."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - General Gatot Nurmantyos apology over a shooting incident had yet to demonstrate the militarys commitment to transparently and fairly solve cases of common crimes by its personnel, Setara Institute Chairman Hendardi stated.

"The main problem is not about open trials to be held for incidents involving military personnel, officers, and civilians. However, it is rather the denial of the principle of equality before the law," Hendardi clarified here on Friday.

Earlier, Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) Chief General Nurmantyo had tendered an apology on Wednesday for a shooting incident that took place on Tuesday afternoon, which had resulted in the death of a civilian motorist in Cibinong, West Java.

"As the TNI commander, I apologize for the fatal shooting in which a member of my force was involved. This must not recur," he informed journalists at the State Palace when questioned about the incident in which 40-year-old Marsim alias Japra was killed.

Nurmantyo said he had ordered the military police to conduct an investigation to thoroughly probe the case and to court martial military personnel involved in the criminal act against the civilian. The investigation process should be open and transparent to the public.

Hendardi stated that maintaining military courts to prosecute military personnel, who committed common crimes, was a violation of the constitution.

"The military law is not to prosecute military personnel who commit common crimes," the NGO chairman said.

Hendardi remarked that the government and the House of Representatives must make a legal breakthrough, while waiting for the legislative process in the House.

Earlier, Chairman of Commission I Mahfudz Siddiq had lauded a recent order directing open trials to be held for incidents involving military personnel, officers, and civilians.

"The order is right. The military court law can impose severe penalties on perpetrators of violations in the ranks of the military," Siddiq affirmed on Thursday.

According to Siddiq, if the judicial process can be carried out transparently, it will fulfill the need for justice in society.

"In the military, guns can only be used by personnel on duty and during operations. The rule must be enforced consistently," the lawmaker emphasized.

The incident has exposed lapses in the supervision of soldiers.

Siddiq pointed out that the law on military discipline should strengthen supervision within the TNI.

"The law must be enforced as such violations are considered a serious offense," he pointed out.

In addition, the legislator remarked that the complexities of life can increase the stress levels in personnel.

"The increase in stress levels in personnel should be a concern for the TNI to anticipate similar incidents in future," he added.
(Uu.A063/KR-BSR/F001)

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