UPDATE Sept. 10: The local military unit in Buleleng regency and the residents of Sidetapa Village have reportedly agreed to settle the case amicably, after a mediation effort led by Bali Governor Wayan Koster.
UPDATE Sept. 3: Two military officers from the District Military Command in Buleleng regency were slapped with disciplinary sanctions for assaulting the residents of Sidetapa Village. A Military Police investigation into the incident is still ongoing.
Original story follows below.
The residents of a village in Bali have reportedly filed a complaint to the Military Police, as those involved failed to reach a peaceful agreement following a viral incident that saw uniformed military officers assaulting civilians.
A video of the incident, which was taken on Aug. 24, showed a bunch of officers ganging up on two civilians. The Military District Commander in Buleleng, Windra Lisrianto, previously said the viral clip didn’t tell the whole story and that the recorded violence was an act of defense, accusing a resident of Sidetapa Village of inciting the altercation when he smacked the commander in the head.
However, a Sidetapa resident identified by his initials DI, has since told his side of the story, explaining that he wasn’t resisting when the abuse took place.
With two versions of the events now on the table, Windra has moved to press charges while the residents of Sidetapa have filed a complaint with the Military Police.
Though there had been a mediation effort led by Buleleng Police Chief Andrian Pramudianto, an agreement to settle the case amicably and not press charges only lasted briefly.
“We had briefly agreed to settle the case amicably, but [the military] is still seeking a legal process, so we have to prepare our own evidence,” Gede Pasek Suardika, who is legally representing the residents of Sidetapa, said.
“As such, the resident is also making an assault report against the Denpom IX Udayana,” Gede said, referring to the Military Police unit in Denpasar.
A spokesman from the Buleleng Police said today that five witnesses have been called for questioning in their investigation. Authorities have yet to name anyone a suspect, and said that they will continue questioning more people in the coming days.