Lt. Gen. Says Lapindo Case Used Fake Data
Retired Lt. Gen. Suharto reported Constitutional Court chief Mahfud M.D. and his colleagues to the police for allegedly including false information in the verdict on the Lapindo mudflow case.
Mahfud, who chairs the court known as MK, made sarcastic remarks when asked about the accusation on Wednesday, saying: “Yes, go ahead and report it, it’s okay. Tell him to report it to angels, too.”
Previously, Taufik Budiman, the lawyer who represented Suharto, reported nine MK judges to the National Police for allegedly forging data in a judicial review of Law No.4/2012 Article 18 on the 2012 state budget revision on the mitigation of the impact of the Lapindo mudflow.
“Our client, retired general Suharto, asked us to file a report about an alleged false or fictitious data in MK’s ruling No 53/PUU 10/2012 about the Lapindo mudflow case,” said Taufik.
The MK has rejected a request to transfer the burden of compensation covering all the land affected by the mudflow to the oil and gas company owned by the family of Golkar chairman Aburizal Bakrie.
Taufik said that his client questioned the validity of some of the information used as the basis for MK to issue its verdict, such as information from the lawmakers which emerged, even though it was never mentioned during the court sessions.
“They never emerged during the trial process, but suddenly there was a long quote from the lawmakers which was made as the basis for MK judges to make its ruling. It was this that we reported to the National Police headquarters,” said Taufik, adding that MK’s verdicts should come from a panel of judges.
Legal analysts dissecting the MK’s recent ruling obliging the state to pay compensation for the 2006 mud disaster in East Java, which displaced thousands after a blowout of a natural gas well, said there is no way to shift the full burden of payment onto Lapindo Brantas, which owned the well and is widely blamed for the incident.
Margarito Kamis, a state administrative expert, said on Tuesday that the ruling last Thursday — rejecting a request to make gas drilling firm Lapindo Brantas responsible for all compensation to affected residents in Sidoarjo district — was legally binding.
“With this decision, no amount of protests will have any effect,” he said.