Notorious Papua Cop Sentenced to 15 Years Refuses to Return to Jail

BY :BANJIR AMBARITA

FEBRUARY 02, 2015

Jayapura. Papua Police say that the officer who in 2014 was sentenced to 15 years in jail for laundering up to Rp 1.5 trillion ($132 million) but who left prison almost a year ago, is living with relatives in Sorong and resisting arrest, claiming he has been lawfully released.

"L.S. is still in Sorong, he has met with two district police chiefs who urged him to surrender but he refused, claiming he has been released," the chief of West Papua Police, Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw, told the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

Paulus was referring to Adj. First Insp. Labora Sitorus of the Raja Ampat Police.

Labora was initially sentenced to two years in prison and handed a Rp 50 million in fine for illegal logging and fuel hoarding. His sentence was revised to eight years after prosecutors appealed, and the Supreme Court finally, in September last year, decided he should serve 15 years in jail and pay a Rp 5 billion fine.

Strangely, however, Labora has so far not been dismissed from the police force and apparently was allowed to leave prison in March 2014 for health reasons. He has not returned since and is now using a document from Sorong Penitentiary as proof that he doesn't have to.

Paulus said police could not forcefully take Labora back to prison because he was protected by his relatives in his home in Sorong.

"There are some of his relatives standing guard for him, not many, but we do not want this to lead to a clash," Paulus said, adding: "There's nothing we can do because he has a release letter."

Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo has indicated an investigation will be launched to find out how it is possible that Labora has been allowed to so blatantly flaunt a Supreme Court ruling — for almost a year already.

"That's what we need to find out: why he was released? Because [Sorong Penitentiary] has no authority to release him," Prasetyo told Detik.com on Monday. "How could they?"

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