Jakarta, MINA – The lawyer representing dozens of Indonesians who allege they were wrongly jailed in adult prisons has urged the Australian Government to respect the Indonesian judicial system, abc.net reported.
The class action against Australia involves 115 Indonesians who allege they were underage when they were jailed and held in detention centres for people smuggling.
Their lawyers, including Lisa Hiariej, are seeking $103 million in damages in a civil court with proceedings first beginning in February.
Judges presiding over the case expressed frustration at continual delays, while on Tuesday, Ms Hiariej said she was concerned the Australian Government was trying to slow the court process.
Outside the Central Jakarta District Court, Ms Hiariej said: “This is the Indonesian way, the Indonesian court, you have to respect the Indonesians.”
This is not really good, they want to take a longer time.”
During Tuesday’s hearing, lawyers for the Australian Government argued they did not have the power of attorney to argue on any grounds apart from the jurisdiction of the court.
Chief judge Ibnu Widodo said it was the first time he had ever come across the arrangement, with lawyers normally engaged for the entirety of a case.
He ordered the parties return to court on November 28 and be prepared to argue about the accusations, if the panel of three judges ruled on hearing the case.
The Indonesians were allegedly detained in Australia between 2008 and 2012 on people smuggling charges after being determined to be adults by now completely discredited wrist X-rays.
They are suing the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General’s Department.
The Australian Government argues that, as a sovereign state, Australia is not subject to the court’s jurisdiction and has delivered an 18-page document to the court outlining the reasons. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)