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Ministry of Justice denies receiving funds from US JAKARTA - Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin has categorically denied an allegation his ministry had received Rp1 trillion in funds from the United States to allow the latter to interrogate Indonesian prison inmates.

"I need to make it clear that the directorate general of prisons never received any funds from the US government for any purpose," the minister said in a press statement issued on Wednesday

The prisons directorate general never received money to allow the FBI to question people being held in several Indonesian state penitentiaries, he said. Amir also refuted a report that the prisons directorate general had made space available inside certain state penitentiaries where the FBI could interrogate inmates.

He admitted the prisons directorate general was cooperating with several foreign governments including the US under an International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance (ICITAP)program. ICITAP was a program under the US Department of Justice to develop capacity to manage the handling of high-risk prisoners.

The cooperation with the US in the ICITAP program covered the formulation of guidelines on the handling of high-risk prisoners, the designing of modules to train prison staff in treating or handling high-risk inmates.

It was initiated after ICITAP had invited 11 prisons directorate general officials to the United States to observe prison inmates management from October 21 to November 10, 2011. "But they were never taken to the Guntanamo correctional facility," Amir said.

Training under the ICITAP program included assessment of inmates at a number of Indonesian prisons but the assessments were done by the staff of the prisons concerned and not by foreigners. "Assessments were made using Violent Extremist Risk Assessment (VERA) instruments," Amir said.

The instrument was used by prison staff to interview or counsel inmates in general for the purpose of drawing up a suitable prisoners` management program, the minister said. Amir said his clarification was meant to respond to a statement made by Indonesian Police Watch (ICW) coordinator Neta S. Pane about alleged US meddling in Indonesian prison affairs.


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Posted in Politics @ 16 February 2012 02:52 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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