Saturday, July 21, 2007

Probe into illegal logging cases on progress

Pekanbaru (EoF News)--- The Indonesian National Police said that the probe of illegal logging cases in Riau would be finalized before September this year where all cases would be brought to the court.

The police would meet the Prosecutors Office in the end of month discussing the steps to take further actions to bring the illegal logging cases to the court.

The illegal logging probe is on progress as a team led by the Police Headquarters's Intelligence Unit held aerial observation to several HTI (industrial timber plantation) concessions in Riau that allegedly involved in illegal logging and environmental crime accusations.

In Jakarta General Sutanto, the Chief of National Police, said Monday that the legal action on Riau illegal logging that conducted by his personnel would complete within a month, Riau Mandiri daily reported Thursday.

Sutanto reaffirmed that the police would keep probing the illegal logging cases that occur in some provinces including Riau. "Whoever allegedly breach the laws would be detained and taken to the court," he said as quoted by Media Indonesia daily as saying.

"The Chief of National Police asked us to continue investigation, as those for years have been untouchable we will touch [soon]," said Head of Police Crime Intelligence Unit, Commissioner General Bambang Hendarso Danuri in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Bambang Hendarso said that the police would charge the perpetrators and other suspects of illegal logging cases with several verdicts including Foresty Law, Environmental Law, Money Laundering Law and Corruption Law, Riau Terkini reported Thursday.

The aerial observation over suspected companies started Tuesday when the police officers accompanied by representatives from Forestry Ministry, Environmental Ministry and NGOs, local media reported. There are six districts that observed by the team in six days covering Rokan Hilir, Rokan Hulu, Pelalawan, Indragiri Hulu, Indragiri Hilir and Bengkalis.

On Tuesday they visited Senepis block where concessions of PT Ruas Utama Jaya and PT Suntara Gaja Pati, both subsidiaries of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). On the following day the team observed concessions of PT Madukoro and PT Nusa Prima Manunggal, partners of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), located in Kampar Peninsula block or Pelalawan district.

The four companies are some of 22 firms that now probed by the police and accused of committing illegal logging and violating environmental crime.

The Chief of National Police would meet Attorney General Hendarman Supandji on 30 July to discuss further steps to bring the suspects to justice, said A.H. Harahap, the Prosecutor for General Crime of the Prosecutors Office.

Chief of Riau Police, Brig.-Gen. Sutjiptadi, said that the state inflicted the loss of trillions rupiah due to illegal loggings and environmental damage. He said HTI (industrial timber plantation) licenses granted by the government in Riau mostly located in protected area and natural forests.

Meanwhile, Golkar Party appointed Muladi, former Minister of Law, as the lawyer to defend the Governor of Riau and four district heads who would be summoned by the police over illegal logging cases.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Port blocked

In Pelalawan district, residents of Lalang Kabut have blocked the access to the port of PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), subsidiary of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), demanding the company to provide electricity power to the villagers and other community developments as it has promised.

The blockade has caused the transportation activity on Tuesday to the port paralyzed. Latest reports said that villagers have reopened the blockade Wednesday following some agreements have been reached by both sides.