Ministry of Environment and Forestry Wins A Lawsuit Against PT NSP

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Jakarta (Greeners) – South Jakarta District Court had granted lawsuit of Ministry of Environment and Forestry against PT National Sago Prima (PT NSP) on Riau forest fires in 2015, said a senior official in Jakarta on Friday (12/08).

The subsidiary of PT Sampoerna Agro Tbk was fined with Rp 1.040 trillion by the court for ecological and economical damages from forest fires between January 31, 2014 to March, 2014.

“This is a big win for people of Indonesia,” said Director General of Law Enforcement at the Ministry, Rasio Ridho Sani, in a press conference.

READ ALSO: KLHK Moves On Investigating 15 Companies Allegedly Burning Riau Forest

Presiding judge, Effendi Mukhtar, stated that PT NSP had proven to have failed to anticipate forest and land fires on its 3,000 hectares of concession areas. In addition, the Court had also granted Rp 753 billion out of Rp 753,745,500,000, dwangsom (or forced money) of Rp 50 million per day and paid the trial of Rp 462,000.

“Ecological losses include water management, reservoir development, erosion control, waste management, soil recycle cost, biodiversity and genetic resources,” said Sani.

The judges only rejected government’s demand to confiscate the company’s assets immediately without have to wait for further legal process.

The winning was based on three aspects, — environmental pollution in Kepulauan Meranti district, damages on public facilities and no Environmental Impact Analysis document –.

READ ALSO: BNPB: Man Made Forest and Land Fires Is An Extraordinary Crime Against Humanity

Meanwhile, PT NSP said that the decision was taken without considering evidence and expert testimonies which basically denied allegations from the government. The company argued that the government’s evidence and assumption were too weak. As a result, dissenting opinion from one of the judge who had competence in environment issues.

“We are currently preparing for the next move, including for an appeal,” said Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo, lawyer of PT NSP, in an official press release.

Reports by Danny Kosasih