Court orders Singaporean detained in Batam to be released: Report

BATAM - A Batam court has granted the request of Singaporean Lim Yong Nam, on the American wanted list for breaching a United States trade embargo against Iran, to be released from detention, according to reports from Batam newspapers.

According to a report on the Batam Pos on Monday, the request was granted because the court had deemed that the police did not have sufficient documentation at the time of his arrest to detain him.

"We accepted a request for release with consideration that the arrest and detention by police is illegal because there is not enough evidence," judge Budiman Sitorus told a court hearing on Monday.

But police said they would not release Mr Lim on Monday bescause they are yet to receive a copy of the court ruling

"The judge's consideration is not clear. We think the judge does not wholly understand the 1979 law on extradition," Leutenant Colonel Armaini of the Riau's general crime detective unit told reporters.

"We will release Lim from detention, but we will keep his passport because we will need it as our evidence, and the court hearing on his extradition will be held soon as we have had a Presidential nod on the case. It is up to him if he wants to stay in a hotel or any place, as long as he does not leave Batam," Let Col Armaini said.

Mr Lim, 40, had filed a suit in a Batam court against the police for detaining him in Batam longer than is allowed by Indonesian law.

Mr Lim's lawyer, Mr Zevrijn Boy Kanu, has previously said that the Singaporean has been detained for more than five months, while the law allows police to detain a suspect for only up to 50 days without pressing charges.

He has been on an Interpol list since September last year and was arrested at Batam Centre ferry terminal when he sought to enter Indonesia on Oct 23 to attend a trade exhibition. He has been detained in Batam since, even though he has not committed an offence in Indonesia.

The US had accused him of acquiring 6,000 radio frequency modules for export to Iran and asked Singapore to extradite him. But he was not extradited as the Singapore High Court found that the wrongdoing he was accused of was not an offence in Singapore.

Indonesia's Foreign Ministry earlier this month said President Joko Widodo had given the green light to process Lim's extradition to the US, even though Indonesia does not have an extradition treaty with the US. Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir had said that the US had through diplomatic channels requested Indonesia on Nov 10 to extradite Mr Lim.