Indonesia Renews Call For Extradition Of Fugitive From PNG

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Djoko Tjandra, aka Joe Chan, wanted for financial crimes

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 24, 2014) – Indonesian Attorney-General’s office has announced this week that it wants to pursue the extradition of Djoko Tjandra, otherwise known as Joe Chan, from Papua New Guinea.

But it said in news reports that it was not sure whether the new cabinet, which would be announced next month under the leadership and the administration of President Joko Widodo, will address that.

Yesterday, the Indonesian leaders, through the Indonesian media, said that deportation may be hard because Tjandra was already a PNG citizen, despite his passport being cancelled and lawyers taking up the case in PNG.

They also alluded to the fact that Tjandra has already more than US$120 million (K302m) investment in PNG with many other reputable business partners and there would a whole lot of legal, technical and foreign laws involved in seeking to return him to Indonesia.

President Joko Widodo will announce his cabinet team in early October, and a new Attorney-General is also going to be announced, as he steps up preparations to become the next leader of the world’s third largest democracy.

Last week, reports from Indonesia’s deputy Attorney-General, Andhi Nirwanto, quoted him as saying that he remained stymied in efforts to extradite Tjandra, wanted in connection with the liquidity scandal and diversion of assets of Bank Bali.

Tjandra, widely linked in the media as the financial backer of The Mulia Hotel project in Sawangan, South Bali, managed to flee Indonesia and seek refuge in PNG one day before a 2009 decision of the Indonesian Supreme Court ordered his imprisonment for two years and three months.

Describing the difficulties in bringing Tjandra to justice, Nirwanto told Suara Pembaruan on September 12: "(This is difficult) because it involves bilateral relations and international law. The main point is that we continue to try to extradite him."

Mr Nirwanto said the successful recapture of a fugitive who has sought refuge abroad requires time and must follow the complicated procedures for extradition.

PNG is in the process of formulating rules for extradition that are scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.

When the rules for extradition between Indonesian and PNG are in hand, they must be ratified by the legislatures of both countries.

The PNG file on Tjandra was given to Attorney-General Ano Pala by former AG Kerenga Kua but Mr Pala has not yet deliberated on the matter.

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