The Legal Process for the Human Confinement Case in Langkat is Slow

The North Sumatran Police have named eight suspects in the human cage case belonging to the former Langkat Regent, the Terbit War-Angin Plan. However, over time the suspects have not been arrested until now. The head of Komnas HAM, Ahmad Taufan Damanik, admitted that he was surprised by the slow progress of the legal process in the human confinement case.

“Yes, we are surprised because from the start Komnas HAM handled this case. We coordinated very well with the National Police Headquarters and the North Sumatran Regional Police. But we were surprised why at this stage it seemed like it wasn’t that serious by procrastinating on determining who the suspects were. And now after being investigated as a suspect but not detained,” he said when contacted by VOA, Tuesday (29/3).

The condition of dozens of men who were found in cages behind the house of the Langkat Regent issued a Plan for Warring the Winds on Monday (24/1).  (Courtesy: Migrant Care)

The condition of dozens of men who were found in cages behind the house of the Langkat Regent issued a Plan for Warring the Winds on Monday (24/1). (Courtesy: Migrant Care)

Taufan suspects that there are irregularities related to the handling of this case. The reason is, until now the main mastermind in the human cage case, namely Terbit, is not included in the list of eight suspects set by the police.

“It doesn’t look serious, the determination of the suspect is protracted. Then to this day the TRP (Published Plans for War) has not been named as a suspect. Even though he is the main actor and is supported by his relatives and people around him,” he said.

Not only that, Komnas HAM was also surprised by the statement from the North Sumatra Police which stated that there were no members of the National Police involved in the human cage case. In fact, Komnas HAM, which has conducted an investigation in this case, has presented a number of names of police officers who are suspected to be involved.

“The alleged perpetrator from the police apparatus was declared absent. It also surprised us because the names were clear. How could there be a police officer, he knew because he had come there many times, witnessed the process. This person did not commit a crime,” said Taufan.

TNI Personnel Involvement

In the human cage case, TNI personnel are also suspected of being involved. According to Taufan, his party has provided a list of names of military persons involved in this case to the TNI Puspom.

The condition of dozens of men who were found in cages behind the house of the Langkat Regent issued a Plan for Warring the Winds on Monday (24/1).  Courtesy: Migrant Care

The condition of dozens of men who were found in cages behind the house of the Langkat Regent issued a Plan for Warring the Winds on Monday (24/1). Courtesy: Migrant Care

“We have given the names directly to the Puspom and the TNI Commander for their own processing because there is a Military Court,” he said.

Komnas HAM also urged the police to immediately carry out legal proceedings against the suspects and alleged police officers involved in the human cage case. “The legal process is for civilian actors, police officers. From the TNI, there is their own mechanism,” concluded Taufan.

The spokesman for the North Sumatra Regional Police, Kombes Pol Hadi Wahyudi, explained that the suspects had not yet been detained. According to him, investigators have a number of basic reasons and considerations.

“In addition to what is stipulated in Article 21 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code, investigators believe that the suspect did not run away. Then, he did not destroy evidence and did not repeat his actions again. That is the basis that has been regulated,” Hadi said, Monday (28/3).

He continued, currently investigators are still developing the human cage case. This is because the number of suspects in this case has the potential to increase.

“We want to see in its entirety the method, process, and purpose. Investigators want to put this in full. So in this case, investigators don’t want to rush to make arrests,” Hadi explained.

Police Call Two More Witnesses

Meanwhile, on Tuesday (29/3) the police summoned two other witnesses with the initials TS and SBP. The two women are known to be the wife and sister of Terbit. This was confirmed by the attorney for the eight suspects, Sangap Surbakti.

“It’s true (wife and sister) from the TRP,” he said.

Previously, the North Sumatra Police arrested eight suspects in the human cage case belonging to the former Langkat Regent with the article on the crime of trafficking in persons (TPPO). They are HS, IS, TS, RG, JS, HG, SP, and DP. The DP who has been named a suspect is actually the son of Terbit.

Komnas HAM some time ago described the latest condition that the capacity of the cage was filled by 57 people. With details, the first cage contains 30 residents. While the second cage filled with 27 people. Sadly, as many as 6 people have died in the human cage belonging to the former Langkat Regent. [aa/em]