Radio Station’s lawsuit against Ministry junked

23 Apr

The state administrative court has rejected a lawsuit filed by a private radio station in Batam, Riau Islands Province, against the Communication Ministry for denying it a broadcasting license, due to a lack of evidence.

The lawsuit was lodged after the ministry refused Radio Era Baru a full broadcasting license for “technical reasons.”

Lawyers for the radio station allege the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Jakarta had asked the Indonesian government “to terminate the license” of Radio Era Baru. Station director Gatot Machali had previously stated that he practiced Falun Gong meditation exercises, a movement which has been banned in China.

Endar Sumarsono, a lawyer from the Legal Aid Foundation for the Press, said a letter purportedly from the Chinese Embassy, submitted as evidence to the court, was proof of its alleged involvement in the Communication Ministry’s decision not to grant the license.

Presiding Judge Wenceslaus, in delivering the verdict, said the letter fell under the “political domain,” and was therefore not within the court’s authority.

“How could the judge not see that such [alleged involvement] did not comply with the government’s [policy of] transparency and accountability?” Endar asked.

The station began broadcasting in 2005 under a locally issued provisional license, but the Communication Ministry refused to grant it a full broadcasting license in 2008.

“It is not the first time we have been involved in a lawsuit but we always abide by the court’s decisions,” said ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto.

text from: http://www.facts.org.cn/Reports/World/200904/t90903.htm

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