27 May 2005

Separatist pair in Indonesia's Papua province sentenced to jail terms

9:15 am on 27 May 2005

A court in the Indonesian province of Papua has convicted two pro-independence activists to 10 and 15-year jail terms for their part in an illegal flag-raising ceremony.

The Jayapura District Court ruled that Philep Karma and Yusac Pakage were guilty of treason for raising an independence flag in the city in December.

Karma was sentenced to 15 years, while Pakage received 10 years for the offence that a judge described as a "betrayal" of Indonesia.

The sentences were much stiffer than prosecutors' demands for five-year jail terms, but lighter than the maximum penalty of death.

The pair, who shouted "Free Papua" before and after the verdict was delivered, will appeal against their sentences.