24 Oct 2014

Papua prosecution seeks jail for French journalists

12:16 pm on 24 October 2014

Prosecutors are demanding four months' imprisonment for the two French journalists accused of misusing their tourist visas in Papua.

Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat are alleged to have carried out journalistic activities on tourist visas and have been detained since mid August.

The Jakarta Post reports one of the prosecutors, Sukanda, as saying an aggravating circumstance is that they could have used the information to report on Indonesia negatively.

He says they have admitted their guilt in abusing their tourist visas and have apologised.

However, the defendants' lawyer, Aristo MA Pangaribuan, is insisting the two be freed because they had not been proven guilty of misusing their visas as charged by the prosecutors.

Earlier, the Press Council's legal commission head, Yoseph Stanley Adi Prasetyo, said the criminal charges against the two were a blight on freedom of the press in Indonesia.