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Better in Black and White

Governorís Lawyers Present Newspapers to Denpasar Court as Evidence in His US$16.6 million Suit Against The Bali Post

(4/2/2012) Radar Bali reports that the suit filed by Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika against the daily newspaper Bali Post continued before the courts on Monday, March 26, 2012.

The court session led by Justice Amzer Simanjuntak received evidence presented by the governor who is seeking US$16.1 million in damages from the paper for misleading and incorrect news coverage. The governor’s legal team presented a stack of newspapers to the court covering the topic of the dispersal of traditional village units in Bali.

In total, there were 19 pieces of evidence presented to the judges, mostly comprised of newspapers and newspaper clippings. The evidence included a September 19, 2011 edition of The Bali Post with the headline: “Following Unrest in Kemoning-Budaga, Governor: Just Dismantle the Traditional Villages.” In addition to The Bali Post, the governor’s legal team also presented other newspapers, such as Nusa Bali, Warta Bali and Fajar Bali.

The governor’s lawyers told the Court that while the theme of the news from the various papers other than The Bali Post were the same, none of the other publications reported the governor as calling for the dissolution of the traditional village units.

The Monday court session lasted only a few minutes, enough time for the recording of the various pieces of evidence filed by the plaintiff.
From a list of 19 pieces of written evidence, 4 pieces remain pending and will be given to the court next week. A lawyer explained that the remaining evidence was photocopied and brought to the Court, but the originals were not presented to the court as required under law.

Continuing, the governor’s attorney said: “From the evidence we have presented, the newspaper that quoted the governor calling the dissolution of the traditional village is the Bali Post. The other newspapers didn’t write this. The bottom line is that in the other newspapers there is no report of a call for dismantling the traditional village units."

In response, the assertion of the newspaper’s lawyer, Suryatin Lijaya, emphasized that he will only respond to the evidence presented when all the evidence is on the table and the examination of witnesses completed. Lijaya called on the judges to carefully examine the evidence being submitted. “We will respond later. Please don't supposed that because we are silent means that we accept these allegations.”

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