TEMPO's Counter Claim against RAPP
Friday, 16 November, 2007 | 12:32 WIB

Tempo Interactive, Jakarta: The trial of the civil claim case of defamation filed by Riau Andalam Pulp & Paper (RAPP) against PT Tempo Inti Media Harian, the publisher of Koran Tempo, entered the phase of reading the reply from the defendant, yesterday (15/11). In the reply, in addition to the answering charges, Tempo accused the plaintiff .

The trial yesterday was a continuation of the mediation which failed because RAPP did not want to eliminate its claim, charging the defendant to pay material losses amounting to Rp1 billion and immaterial losses of Rp500 million.

In efforts of demnading its rights, PT Tempo put forth the argument that RAPP committed an action against the law by violating the freedom of press. RAPP's action of bringing Tempo to court, according to Tempo's legal adviser, Hendrayana, can be regarded as an effort to disrupt the freedom of press. “By the claim, the media became alarmed to report on something,” he said during the trial at South Jakarta District Court.

In line with Decree No. 40/1999 on the Press, the resolution to dispute with the media is reported first to the Press Council. In fact, RAPP did not take this way and directly filed a claim at the court. “This is an act against the law,” said Hendar. Therefore, Tempo demanded an open apology from RAPP.

In the exception, PT Tempo also viewed RAPP's claim as being premature as it did not go through the mechanism of the press dispute solution. The accusation of defamation could not be proved either as neither the court nor the judges ruled that the defendant has defamed anyone.

Leornard Simorangkir, RAPP's legal adviser, asked for two weeks time for response to Tempo's exception and the counter claim. However, the chairman of the panel of judges, Eddy Risdianto, only gave one week.

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