Indonesian Minister Luhut Attends Court in Defamation Lawsuit Against Rights Activists, Here Is the Case

- 09 June 2023 20:50 WIB
An edited version of Haris Azhar's Youtube video thumbnail.
An edited version of Haris Azhar's Youtube video thumbnail.


JAKARTADAILY.ID – The ongoing trial of the lawsuit filed by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, against human rights activists and podcasters Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti has sparked a contentious debate.

The trial centers around a YouTube video created by the two activists, titled "MINING BUSINESS BEHIND LORD LUHUT! 8.1 TONS OF GOLD IN PAPUA IS A TARGET?"

The video mentions retired TNI Generals (AD) allegedly involved in gold exploitation in the Wabu Block, Intan Jaya, Papua, with references to Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

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During the hearing held on Thursday, June 8, 2023, Luhut, who is also Indonesia's 13th Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, expressed that he was offended by the alleged lies told on the podcast.

The trial focused on a defamation report against Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, charging human rights activists Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti. Luhut himself was present at the East Jakarta District Court to defend his reputation.

Luhut expressed his offense at the allegations made against him, including being accused of owning a company in Papua and being labeled a criminal, as portrayed in the Haris Azhar podcast. He called out the lies and slander uttered during the trial.

"I frankly don't need to count material losses, but morally, my children and grandchildren, being called a criminal, being called a 'lord,' let me accuse you of being a criminal, as a thief, that's not acceptable to you," said Luhut.

Haris and Fatia are not the first to refer to Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan as "Lord Luhut," in fact, most Indonesians with a social media account jokingly refer to him as "Lord" due to his seemingly limitless capacity as Minister. Some even sarcastically call him the "Minister of All Things."

Luhut revealed that he had requested an apology and a proper resolution from Haris Azhar, but his pleas were ignored. Frustrated, he sought mediation through the regional police chief, as he vehemently denied having any business interests in Papua.

"I asked the regional police chief to mediate, even though I was very annoyed because I had no business in Papua, which I had never done. And then I was accused of being a lord and a criminal. In my opinion, these words were very hurtful," Luhut explained.

The trial, which took place on June 8, 2023, involved the examination of a witness with incriminating statements, namely Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

This legal dispute originated from a YouTube upload on Haris Azhar's channel titled "There is Lord Luhut behind the Intan Jaya Economic-Ops Military Relations!! General BIN is also there!" The video was uploaded in August 2021 and featured Fatia Maulidiyanti alongside Haris.


Editor: Suksmajati Kumara


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