Justice Collaborator: Definition, Roles, and Advantages

August 16, 2022

Justice Collaborators in recent developments have received serious attention, because of their key role in uncovering the dark veil of certain crimes that are difficult to uncover by law enforcement. Based on Law Number 31 of 2014 concerning the amendment of Law Number 13 of 2006 concerning Protection of Witnesses and Victims (“Law No. 31/2014”), Justice Collaborator is defined as a suspect, defendant, or convicted who assist or cooperate with law enforcement to disclose a criminal act in the same case. Justice collaborator is needed because search process and discovery of facts are difficult to obtain and that makes the disclosure of facts of the case becomes delayed and time consuming. 

 

The key roles of the Justice Collaborators include:

 

  • To reveal a criminal act or the imminent occurrence of a criminal act;

  • Provide information to law enforcement officials; and

  • Give testimony in court proceedings.

 

Recognition of the important role of Justice Collaborators in uncovering transnational organized crimes, one of which is a corruption case on an international scale is regulated under the United Nations (UN) Convention, namely through the United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) which has been ratified by Indonesia based on Law Number 7 of 2006 concerning Ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, 2003. In Article 37 of the UNCAC regarding Cooperation with law enforcement authorities is stated as follows:

 

  1. “Each State Party shall take appropriate measures to encourage persons who participate or who have participated in the commission of an offence established in accordance with this Convention to supplyinformation useful to competent authorities for investigative and evidentiary purposes and to provide factual, specific help to competent authorities that may contribute to depriving offenders of the proceeds of crime and to recovering such proceeds;

  2. Each State Party shall consider providing for the possibility, in appropriate cases of mitigating punishment of an accused person who provides substantial cooperation in the investigation or prosecution of an offence established in accordance with this Convention;

  3. Each State Party shall consider providing for the possibility, in accordance with fundamental principles of its domestic law, of granting immunity from prosecution to a person who provides substantial cooperation in the investigation or prosecution of an offence established in accordance with this Convention;

  4. Protection of such persons shall be, mutatis mutandis, as provided for in Article 32 of this Convention".

 

Article 37 of the UNCAC gives mandate to government that has ratified the convention to take advantages over the information that the accused person has to disclose the rest of the story and to process other relevant perpetrators. These mandates are governed in several regulations which are: Law Number 13 of 2006 concerning Protection of Witnesses and Victims, Law No. 31/2014, Circular Letter of the Supreme Court No. 4 of 2011 on the Treatment of Whistleblowers and Witnesses of Perpetrators Who Cooperate (Justice Collaborators) in certain criminal act (“SEMA No. 4/2011”), Joint Regulation of the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Attorney General, Chief of National Police, Chief of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), and Chief of Protection of Witnesses and Victims Agency (LPSK) concerning Protection for Whistleblowers, Reporting Witnesses, and Justice Collaborator. 

 

SEMA No. 4/2011 provides several provisions regarding guidelines for the use of a Justice Collaborator in a certain criminal act. Certain serious criminal act includes: corruption, terrorism, narcotics, money laundering, human trafficking, and other criminal act that is organized and causing serious problems and threats towards stability and security of the society.

 

Criteria to become a Justice Collaborator are listed in Number 9 point (a) and (b) of SEMA 4/2011, in which to become a Justice Collaborator there are several conditions that must be met. First, the person concerned is not the main actor, wants to admit the crime, the crime committed is a certain crime, and wants to give information in court. Second, the public prosecutor stated in his claim that the person in question had provided important and useful information to uncover the crime, helped uncover the perpetrators who had a bigger role, and wanted to return all assets obtained from that crime.

 

Further, based on Number 9 point (c) of SEMA 4/2011, the judge who examines the case is asked to make a decision by considering aspects as follows:

 

  1. Conditional probation and or;

  2. The lightest prison sentence among other defendant by considering justice in society.

 

Moreover, further elaboration on Justice Collaborators can be found in Law No. 31/2014. Justice Collaborators can be given certain rights under the LPSK, such as: obtain protection for personal safety, give information without pressure, etc. These rights were listed under Article 5 of Law No. 31/2014.

 

Apart from above rights, advantages of being a Justice Collaborator can be seen in Article 10 of Law No. 31/2014 which stipulates:

  1. “Witnesses, Victims, Justice Collaborators and/or the Reporting Party cannot be prosecuted by law, both criminal and civil for the testimony and/or reports that will be, are being or have been given, unless the testimony or report is not given in good faith.

  2. In the event that there is a lawsuit against a Witness, Victim, Justice Collaborators, and/or the Reporting Party for the testimony and/or reports that will be, are being or have been given, the lawsuit must be postponed until the case he reported or he testified has been decided by the court and legally binding.”

 

Article 10(a) of Law No. 31/2014 also stipulates:

  1. “Justice Collaborators can be given special treatment in the examination process and award for the testimony given.

  2. The special handling as referred to in paragraph (1) is in the form of:

  • Separation of places of detention or places of serving the criminal sanction between the Justice Collaborator and the suspect, defendant, and/or convicted whose crime is revealed by him;

  • Separation of examination files between the Justice Collaborators and the files of suspects and defendants in the process of investigation, and prosecution of criminal acts that he discloses and/or;

  • Give testimony before the trial without dealing directly with the defendant whose crime was revealed.

 

The award for the testimony as referred to in paragraph (1) is in the form of:

  1. leniency of criminal imposition; or

  2. parole, additional remission, and other rights of prisoners in accordance with the provisions of the legislation for Justice Collaborator who are prisoners.”

 

In order to obtain an award in the form of leniency in the sentence referred to in Article 10(a) of Law No. 31/2014 paragraph (3) point (a), LPSK shall provide a written recommendation to the public prosecutor to include in its demand to the judge. While to obtain an award in the form of parole, additional remission, and the rights of other prisoners as referred to in Article 10(a) of Law No. 31/2014 paragraph (3) point (b), LPSK shall provide written recommendations to the minister who carries out government affairs in the legal field.