This is a moving story of how screwed up Indonesia’s justice system is for the have nots, in this case a 55 year old illiterate grandmother. It is a moving and uplifting story because the presiding judge in this case did the right thing.
What’s curious about the Jakarta Globe story(below), however, is the great similarity it has to the Kompas story the day before. Unspun was alerted to the Kompas story by apeirokalia yesterday but did not have time to check it out. I was surprised by the similarity of the stories when I read the Globe’s today, and they had bylines too. A case of great minds thinking alike and writing alike in many paragraphs of the stories?
This story (in English) is the one from the Jakarta Globe. Further down is the Kompas story for comparison.
The case of a grandmother of seven who was charged with stealing three pieces of cocoa fruit and subjected to 18 days of house arrest before being dragged to court to receive a suspended sentence is just further proof of the injustices visited on the poor in this country, human rights activists said on Friday.
“The Indonesian judiciary clearly still ignores anybody with no money, no power and no connections,” Nurkholis, a member of the National Commission on Human Rights, told the Jakarta Globe on Friday.
He was referring to the case of Minah, 55, an illiterate grandmother from a small village near Banyumas in Central Java.
Minah was confused that, after having returned the cocoa fruit to the plantation, owned by PT Rumput Sari Antan, and having apologized profusely, they still reported her to the police
However, she was adamant that she would face the courts and prosecutors’ offices even though she had to travel — on several occasions — long distances on foot before catching the bus from Banyumas to get to Purwokerto, initially to face questioning at the Purwokerto Prosecutor’s Office and later, as a defendant, at the Purwokerto District Court.
And this is the Kompas story yesterday:
Jumat, 20 November 2009 | 08:09 WIB
Minah (55) hanya dapat meremas kedua belah tangannya untuk menepis kegalauan agar tetap tegar saat menyampaikan pembelaan atau pleidoi di hadapan majelis hakim di Pengadilan Negeri Purwokerto, Kabupaten Banyumas, Jawa Tengah, Kamis (19/11).
Tanpa didampingi pengacara, ia menceritakan bahwa alasannya memetik tiga buah kakao di kebun PT Rumpun Sari Antan 4, pertengahan Agustus lalu, adalah untuk dijadikan bibit.
Nenek tujuh cucu yang buta huruf ini sesekali melemparkan pandangan kepada beberapa orang yang dikenal guna memperoleh kekuatan. Ia berusaha memastikan bahwa pembelaannya dapat meyakinkan majelis hakim.
Dengan menggunakan bahasa Jawa ngapak (dialek Banyumasan) bercampur bahasa Indonesia, Minah menuturkan, tiga buah kakao itu untuk menambah bibit tanaman kakao di kebunnya di Dusun Sidoharjo, Desa Darmakradenan, Kecamatan Ajibarang, Kabupaten Banyumas. ”Kalau dipenjara, inyong (saya) enggak mau Pak Hakim. Namung (cuma) tiga buah kakao,” ujar Minah kepada majelis hakim.