Witness in the Sodong, Mesuji case: PT. SWA and TMM are under one management

Kayuagung, 23 September 2014 – Continuing the agenda of examination of witnesses presented by the claimant, on Tuesday, 23 September 2014, PT. SWA presented one witness in the court hearing. The witness presented was Anton Azhar, 59 years old, born in Medan. Anton has been a PT. SWA employee since 2003.

In his court testimony, the witness stated that he knew about the community demands for plasma plantation, at which time Agung Sani and other inhabitants met the management and demanded the plasma plantation promised by PT. TMM.

When asked by the legal counsel of the defendants whether PT. TMM and PT. SWA are under one management, the witness confirmed the question, and added that both have the same board members and owner. Besides, the witness also states that the office of PHA Group, the holding company of the two corporations, is located in Palembang.

The testimony confirms that before PT. SWA obtained its land tenure, all legal acts and correspondence have been done by PT. TMM, which was founded earlier, and has its plot next to PT. SWA’s. This counters the reasoning of the company, who claims that the correspondence and legal acts related to the community members are done by PT. TMM, and is not known by PT. SWA.

The land dispute in Mesuji, including in Sungai Sodong, Ogan Komering Ilir, South Sumatra, has been in court for some time. PT. SWA filed a lawsuit against 4 villagers related to control of land by villagers on 633 hectares of disputed land. The nationally-known case is currently being tried, with an agenda of examining witnesses. In the lawsuit, the company is also demanding a compensation of IDR 12 billion from the public.

The session will continue on Tuesday, 30 September 2014, with an agenda of examining witnesses from the claimant (PT. SWA).