The illustration of Freeport Indonesia’s mining area.- Jubi/IST

Freeport shooting case: Lawyer pleads court to acquit Ivan Sambom


West Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi


Jayapura, Jubi – The lawyer of Indius also known as Ivan Sambom, a former security guard at PT Freeport Indonesia, pleaded to the panel of judges at North Jakarta District Court on March 3, 2021 to acquit his client because there was no evidence that Sambom possessed an illegal gun. Sambom was arrested following a shooting in Freeport’s office.


Gustav Kawer, the director of Association of Human Rights Advocates in Papua (PAHAM Papua), who was one of Sambom’s lawyer, said the trial so far had yet to present any facts or evidence that Sambom had an illegal firearm. PAHAM Papua also said in a release made available on March 4 that the trial had yet to present any evidence of Sambom’s involvement in a murder of a New Zealand citizen in Mimika Regency on March 30, 2020.



Read also: Freeport Indonesia declares business running as usual


Earlier in April last year, former Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said as quoted in Jakarta-based media outlets that Sambom was a security guard at the mining company who doubled as “a spy for an armed criminal group or KKB”. KKB is Indonesian security personnel lingo to label armed groups affiliated to Free Papua Movement like the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB).


Waterpauw said Sambom often posted his support to Papua’s Independence in his social media posts.


Sambom was arrested by Nemangkawi Task Force in his house in Kampung Iwaka, Mimika, following a shooting at the mining company’s office in Kuala Kencana that killed Grame Thomas Wall, a New Zealand citizen and injured two others, both Indonesians.


The police accused him of having, possessing, or hiding a firearm and other ammunition or violating Emergency Law No. 12/1951.  On Oct. 27, 2020, his trial began in North Jakarta.


On Feb. 25, the prosecutors team read their indictment, demanding three years imprisonment for Sambom.


Kawer said the witnesses who lived and had activities with the defendant had testified that they never saw the defendant storing, carrying, or using any firearm or ammunition. The defendant also denied any firearm or ammunition possession. Kawer said all the security personnel who testified in the trial said similar accounts: They “found” the ammunition in Sambom’s house.


Kawer said the facts heard in the trial had convinced him that the ammunition found was planted to trap and criminalized Sambom. He said the evidence and expert witnesses testimonies did not relate to any of the defendant’s alleged actions.


On March 30, 2020, TPNPB’s Operation Area III Commander Hendrik Wamang took responsibility for the shooting.


Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G, Evi Mariani

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