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Melkias Ky Trial Verdict Due

31 January 2023

Melkias Ky (23), a civilian who lives in Insum Village, Maybrat District, West Papua, has become the victim of a wrongful arrest by the police, during the trial surrounding the events that took place in Kisor, Maybrat, on 2nd September 2021. For more information on the background of this event and the broader situation in Maybrat, please take a look at our video series and our briefing.

He has already gone through four months of the trial session at Sorong District Court from October 2022 to January, and this happened after his arrest and detention, which has been since 31st January 2022.

During the trial, when called to give evidence, none of the witnesses testified that they had seen Melkias Ky directly involved in the killings. The testimony of witness IW was changed and should not be trusted.

Melkias Ky testified that during the detention and investigation in the police station, he was not accompanied by his legal team, and also that the investigator threatened him with force to confess to being an perpetrator and to sign a police investigation report that was made by the investigator. Under this threat, Melkias signed the report.

During the session, although none of the evidence produced was valid or strong, the Public Prosecutor called for a sentence of life in prison.

The defendant’s legal team asked for the judge to free him, as he had not been proven to have been guilty of the crime.

The sentencing will take place on Friday 3rd February 2023.

The arrest and trial process for Papuans are often arbitrary, showing bad practices in law enforcement in Papua. Bad practices in the law underline and strengthen the discriminatory policy of the state against the people of Papua, contributing to an increase in violence against the Papuan people, and in the conflict in Papua.