Clean-Up Begins at Kerobokan
Last week’s rioting at Kerobokan Prison led to at least Rp5 billion in damage, according to officials. Two senior prison staff were removed from their posts as a consequence of the episode in which the authorities lost control of the facility while inmates ran amok, but officials have denied that the removal of Bali Police chief Totoy Herawan Indra is connected to the riot.
Priyadi, head of Bali’s Justice and Human Rights Department, said that an initial estimate of Rp1.2 billion in damages was based only on fire damage.
The total losses were more than four times that amount, he said, adding that a private auditor had been appointed to assess the damage.
Following an initial disturbance at the weekend, guards lost control of the prison on February 21. Though police and military officers regained control the following morning, there were more disturbances the next night.
On Friday, after control was re-established, Kerobokan’s chief warden Bowo Nariwono and chief of security Anang Khuzaini were removed from their posts. Both men had only been appointed in January, but had been the subject of complaints from inmates who claimed they gave preferential treatment to certain prisoners and instituted illegal charges for better accommodation.
Sihabudin, the justice ministry’s director of correctional facilities, said that the removal of the officials was to expedite the investigation, rather than to appease inmates.
“It is only to ease the investigation process carried out by the ministry’s general inspectorate officers,” he said.
Khuzaini was replaced by Agus Miardi, formerly security head of Tabanan Prison. Gusti Ngurah Wiratna was appointed as Nariwono’s replacement. On Saturday he held a series of activities to foster communication between staff and prisoners.
“This is important and has become a priority. We want to eliminate the feeling of distrust and fear between guards and inmates,” he said, adding that counselling had been provided for inmates traumatised by the violence.
News was leaked on Friday that Bali Police chief Totoy Herawan Indra was to be removed from his post and replaced by Budi Gunawan, but police spokesman Hariadi said the move was unconnected to the riot.
A number of inmates have been permanently transferred to prisons outside Bali. Bambang Daranindra of the Foreign Affairs Ministry visited the prison on Sunday to check on the status of the 60 foreigners housed at Kerobokan. He said most had refused to be moved from the prison during the trouble.
“They feel at home there. They have made friends with the local prisoners, and moving to a new place would require some adjustment. They’re at ease here and their families can visit them without hassle,” he said.
Among Kerobokan’s high-profile foreign residents are Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and members of the so-called “Bali Nine” drug-smuggling gang.
An extra 90 police officers have been deployed to guard the prison.
“We have the situation under control. The prison guards are also working normally,” said Badung Police chief Beny Arjanto.
Meanwhile, 13 inmates missed scheduled court hearings on Monday because their court documents had been lost in fires lit during the riots. A total of 43 inmates were due to have hearings this week, but the paperwork for just 30 of them survived.Filed under: Headlines