Six media outlets in Makassar, Indonesia were freed from civil lawsuits worth IDR 100 trillion
Six media in Makassar were sued civilly at the Makassar District Court. The six media are Antara News, Terkini News, Celebes News, Makassar Today and Makassar News and Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI). The lawsuit was filed by a businessman Akbar Amir, who objected to the media saying that he was not a descendant of King Tallo.
In his lawsuit, Akbar as the plaintiff feels that the news has harmed him, causing a number of investment projects to be canceled and causing losses, each worth Rp 5 trillion, Rp 20 billion and Rp 50 trillion.
AJI Makassar noted that the lawsuit was registered at the Makassar District Court on 31 December 2021, and so far it has gone through the trial process several times since 18 January 2022, until the mediation process.
However, in the mediation process the two parties did not reach an agreement, until the Makassar District Court scheduled a hearing to read the defendant's answers, on Thursday morning, 12 May 2022. In their lawsuit, the plaintiff asked the Makassar District Court to order the six media to pay compensation of more than IDR 100 trillion. The plaintiff said that as a result of the news, his party lost Rp 100 trillion due to the cancellation of the project he claimed.
In the petitum, Akbar said that he had experienced a project cancellation related to the defendant's reporting. Akbar admitted that he suffered a material loss in paying off the investment for the construction of Lakkang Island in June 2014 with an investment value of IDR 100 trillion. With an estimated loss from profits that are not received by 50% of the investment value to IDR 50 Trillion.
Akbar also admitted that he had tendered for a collaborative management of the Raja Ampat traditional gold mine in West Papua covering an area of 2,000 hectares with an estimated loss of up to Rp 5 trillion. Also the cancellation of the filming between the two countries, namely the Indonesian Archipelago custom and the Malaysian custom with an estimated loss of IDR 20 Billion.
Akbar also admits that he lost the trust of the kings of the archipelago and Asia, and caused most of the injuries to the National Customary Council of the Indonesian Archipelago Traditional Troops, which cannot be valued in monetary terms.
AJI Makassar noted that the plaintiff used the basis and reason for filing the lawsuit, for the news that said M. Akbar Amir was not a descendant of King Tallo.
Meanwhile, the contents of the report which stated that Akbar Amir was not a descendant of King Tallo, was obtained by journalists from six media in Makassar from the results of a press conference held by the Defenders of the Unitary Indonesian Motherland (PEKAT) at the Grand Celino Hotel Makassar, on 18 March 2016.
PEKAT who acted as guest speakers that day, were represents two direct descendants of King Tallo, H Andi Rauf Maro Daeng Marewa and Hatta Hasa Karaeng Gajang, who spoke to the media.
Confirmation efforts have been made by several media at that time. However, M Akbar Amir did not response the confirmation. Five years later, it was discovered that M Akbar Amir had purchased a civil suit to the Makassar District Court.
AJI Makassar stated that press cases should be resolved at the press council, not through the courts. Because the press law regulates that journalistic product disputes can be resolved by using the right of reply. If the right of reply is considered insufficient, the party who has objections to a news story can complain about it to the press council.
The panel of judges at the Makassar district court rejected the civil lawsuit by the 6 media, on Wednesday, 14 September 2022. The judge stated that the plaintiff's lawsuit was premature and during the trial, no evidence was found that the plaintiff had used the right of correction, right of reply and mediation as stipulated in the Press Law.
Because the plaintiff had not yet completed the settlement of the personal dispute, the judge firmly rejected Akbar Amir's lawsuit. In addition, the lawsuit is considered outdated and incomplete.