15 Apr 2005

Senior Papua officials arraigned on illegal logging permit charges

10:26 am on 15 April 2005

A senior government official in the Indonesian province of Papua went on trial yesterday for knowingly issuing illegal permits to loggers.

During the opening hearing at the Jayapura District Court, Papau Forestry Office director Marthen Kayoi was charged by prosecutors with abusing a scheme that allowed Papuans to selectively log timber for cultural reasons.

Kayoi and West Irian Jaya Forestry Office head Marthen Rumadas were arrested on March 11 for issuing the permits to commercial logging operations.

If found guilty both men could face a maximum of five years in jail.