Singapore Expresses Concern over Long Drawn Legal Process

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) expressed concerns over the long-drawn judicial process related to Shoo Chiau Huat, a ship captain originally charged for illegal fishing and trespassing and subsequently acquitted by the Tanjung Pinang Court on July 11, 2016.

    Shoo was then charged and found guilty of immigration offenses by the Tanjung Pinang Court on January 17, 2017, and was subjected to Rp 50 million fine, or a five-month prison sentence.  On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, a third set of new charges for violations under Indonesia's Shipping Law were read out against Shoo.

    "The Singaporean MFA also understands that an appeal has been filed with the Supreme Court against Mr.  Shoo's acquittal for his illegal fishing charges," the Singaporean MFA stated in a press release posted on its official website on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

    The MFA, including the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta and the Singapore Consulate in Batam, have been in constant communication with Indonesian authorities following Shoo's detention to ensure that he is provided with his entitled legal rights under Indonesian law.

    The Singaporean Government stated that it respects the laws and judicial process of Indonesia in connection with Mr. Shoo's case, but remains deeply concerned over his prolonged detention and long-drawn judicial process.  

    "We will continue to reiterate to the Indonesian authorities that Mr. Shoo’s case be processed expeditiously so he can return to Singapore without further delay," the MFA added.

    The MFA and the Singapore Consulate in Batam will continue to render all necessary consular assistance to Shoo and his family.  In light of the case, the MFA called on Singaporeans operating pleasure crafts, recreational fishing vessel and yachts, as well as Singaporeans engaging in business activities in Indonesia, to familiarize themselves with Indonesian laws and judicial processes.

    FERY ANDRIANSYAH