Jakub Fabian Skrzypski, 39, and his co-accused Simon Magal, seen during their treason trial in the Wamena District Court in Jayawijaya district, Papua. (Photo courtesy of antaranews.com)

Papua Court Jails Polish Citizen for 5 Years on Treason Charge


MAY 03, 2019

Jakarta. The Wamena District Court in Papua jailed a Polish citizen for treason on Thursday in the first such case involving a foreigner in Indonesia.

The presiding judge, Yajid, assisted by Roberto Naibaho and Ottow Siagian, ruled that Jakub Fabian Skrzypski, 39, had been proven legally and convincingly guilty of having committed treason, sentencing him to five years in prison, according to state-run news agency Antara. The prosecution demanded 10 years.

Police arrested Skrzypski in Wamena, Jayawijaya district, in August last year.

The prosecution said Skrzypski first arrived in Papua as a tourist in 2007, but that he had violated the terms of his visa by meeting with members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) to convey the idea of Papuan independence to Europe through his writings.

"The defendant Jakub Fabian Skrzypski went to Wamena and met several people at the OPM headquarters in Puncak Jaya," one of the prosecutors, Ricarda Arsenius, said while reading out the indictment during the first session of the trial in January, as quoted by benarnews.org.

The prosecution said Skrzypski maintained regular contact through messaging applications with Simon Magal, an Indonesian from Papua, after returning to Europe, until his return in the middle of last year. Simon was his co-accused.

They were both charged with treason under Article 106 of the Criminal Code, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The Indonesian government considers the OPM a separatist group.

Simon was sentenced to four years in prison.

"On July 15, 2018, Simon Magal asked Jakub Fabian Skrzypski whether West Papuan fighters could cooperate with Poland regarding weaponry," Ricarda said.

A special taskforce of the Papua Police interrogated Skrzypski after his arrest.

Both Skrzypski and Simon's lawyers said they would appeal the sentences in the Jayapura High Court.

"A five-year sentence is too high for us; we will appeal. We're preparing the appeal file," Skrzypski's lawyer, Latifah Anum Siregar, was quoted as saying. She insists that her client is innocent.

Febiana Wilma Sorbu, another state prosecutor, said they will discuss further legal measures.

In a written statement distributed to journalists, Skrzypski said: "My case and trial are based on assumptions and lies… that my trip had anything to do with anti-state politics or military activism, supporting one side against other."

"I state that I am innocent of the accusation and I refuse any possible sentence as an unjust one," Skryzpski said in the statement, issued on May 1.