MAC: Mines and Communities

PT Indo Muro Kencana Goes on Trial in South Jakarta State Court over a Lawsuit Filed by Dayak Commun

Published by MAC on 2001-05-23

PT Indo Muro Kencana Goes on Trial in South Jakarta State Court over a Lawsuit Filed by Dayak Communities

JATAM, Jakarta---The lawsuit filed by Dayak Siang, Murung, and Bakumpai communities of Central Kalimantan against the gold mining company, PT. Indo Muro Kencana (PT. IMK) proceeded in the South Jakarta State Court on September 19, 2002.

The trial started at 13.30 WIB (1.30 PM) with Judge Zainal Abidin, SH presiding. The plaintiffs were represented by lawyers from the Community Mining Advocacy Team (TATR). The lawyers present at this trial were Chairil Syah, Hasanuddin, Zen Smith, Isna Hartati, Abdul Haris Semendawai and Sinung Karto. Also attending the trial was JATAM National coordinator, Chalid Muhammad. The defendants were represented by lawyer, Jonson Hutajulu.

The Judge began the session with typically calling for the two parties to reconcile. The Plaintiff’s lawyers stated that the offer of reconciliation could be accepted as long as the Defendant fulfills all the Plaintiff’s claims. The Plaintiff’s lawyers then asked for the trial to be resumed. A similar reaction came from the Defendant’s attorney who stated that reconciliation could be achieved and also asked for the trial to proceed.

The Judge decided that the trial would resume on October 3, 2002. The agenda for that trial includes listening to the responses from the Defendant.

On July 30, 2002, three Dayak communities filed a lawsuit against PT. IMK in the South Jakarta State Court. The Plaintiffs are traditional gold miners who have been disadvantaged by the presence of PT. IMK since 1987. Once PT IMK gained a Contract of Work on February 27, 1985, PT. IMK began bulldozing mining pits in the area of Luit Raya, Serujan, and Kerikil.

As a result of PT. IMK mining activities, the Plaintiffs suffered financial and non-financial losses. Some examples of the financial losses are the loss of mining pits, which were the source of their livelihood, the loss of profit they should have received, and the loss of the community’s mining equipment. The non-financial losses include great suffering and misery for the Plaintiffs, the loss of their rights to work and to live an environment free from fear.

Based on the facts stated by the Plaintiffs, actions done by the Defendant were against the law. These actions included actions against civil law article number 1365 (KUH Perdata), which states that, “compensation is required to be paid by any person who commits any action violating the law or that causes loss for other peoples.”

The bulldozing of mining pits and the destruction of the Plaintiffs’ mining equipments are manifestations of violations against laws and sacred beliefs and customs of the Dayak Siang, Murung, and Bakumpai communities.

To compensate for the financial losses, PT. IMK has been sued Rp 364.213.500. The sum of money is for the compensation of the Plaintiffs’ mines, which were taken away by force. PT. IMK was also charged 380.023 grams of gold for the loss of profits, which should have been received by the community had they kept mining from 1987 to 2002.

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