Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Montara oil spill case will not damage bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia,Director General of General Legal Administration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Cahyo R. Muzhar has said.

"We are not worried that it will disrupt bilateral relations. This is a legal matter. We should also not be carried away by polemics," he remarked at the ‘Optimization of Montara Case Settlement,’ broadcast by the 9 Merdeka Barat Forum, here on Friday.

For example, when Indonesia and Malaysia were involved in a dispute over Sipadan Island and Ligitan Island, both countries settled the case through lawful means at the International Court of Justice, he pointed out.

Even after the reading of the results of the trial, bilateral relations between Indonesia and Malaysia are still fine, he explained.

Related news: West Timor files claim with UN over Montara oil spill

"This is because our legal problems are resolved legally, and we must respect whatever the court's decision, regardless of the form of the institution, either national or international," he said.

While making his presentation, he also stressed that the Montara oil refinery spill problem pertains to the impact of the spill in the West Atlas Block of Timor Sea, owned by a Thai company based in Australia—PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) Australasia—in 2009.

At least 30 thousand barrels of oil had spilled into Timor Sea at the time, polluting marine life in the waters and affecting the economic life and the health of local people, Muzhar said.

"They are fully responsible because this issue is the state's responsibility," he added.

He also said he hopes that the International Court's ruling will not be much different from that of the Australian courts.

In 2021, Indonesia won an international lawsuit led by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. "We use the same evidence and legal arguments. We are optimistic that we will win this lawsuit," Muzhar said.

Related news: Indonesia open to option of international court to resolve Montara case

Translator: Putu S, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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