Singaporean Lim Yong Nam was rearrested by the Riau Islands Police only minutes after he was released following a court order concerning his unlawful arrest and detention on Tuesday evening in Batam.
Lim had only taken a few steps away from the Riau Islands Police Crime and Intelligence Directorate building when he was brought back inside.
Judge Budiman Sitorus on Monday ruled in favour of Lim, who had filed for a pretrial hearing against the Riau Islands Police regarding his arrest and detention, which the judge deemed illegal and ordered Lim be released.
Lim's release process, however, was delayed as the Riau Islands Police showed no signs of releasing him until Tuesday afternoon.
Lim was taken out of his cell on the third floor at 3:30 p.m. local time, but was held in an interrogation room for the rest of the afternoon because he refused to sign a release form since police did not want to return his passport.
However, after a complicated negotiation, Lim, his lawyer Zevrijn Boy Kanu and Singapore's consul in Batam, Gavin Chay, left the room and Lim eventually signed the form, although without receiving his passport. As he left the main lobby of the building, two police detectives, led by Comr. Marion, approached Lim and handed him a warrant of arrest. Lim offered no resistance as he was escorted back to the interrogation room for further examination.
Zevrijn told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the court decision meant nothing at all to the police and they had played a painful game against Lim.
"Police have halfheartedly carried out the court decision. This is a drama that is very painful for Lim. The court decided that the arrest and detention process of Lim was unlawful because of insufficient evidence. Now, police are using their power again to arrest our client. Our client is shocked by the police's behaviour," said Boy Kanu.
Boy Kanu said the process clearly showed the United States was applying extraordinary pressure against Indonesia, so much so that Indonesia was overlooking its good relations with Singapore.
"The family has also appealed to the Singaporean government to also apply pressure on Indonesia to carry out the legal process appropriately," said Boy Kanu.
Consul Chay, who had been at the Riau Islands Police headquarters from Tuesday morning, also criticised the move.
"We were shocked and concerned. The Singaporean Foreign Ministry and Singaporean Embassy in Indonesia will be notified about this and we will ask for clarification from the Indonesian government," said Chay.
Riau Islands Police General Crimes and Intelligence Sub-directorate head Adj. Sr. Comr. Armaini said his office detained Lim for fear he would flee before his extradition trial was held.
"President Joko Widodo has agreed to the extradition process. We will submit the dossiers in the near future, so we detained the concerned party," said Armaini.
According to Armaini, police respected the court decision. However, police rearrested him after getting sufficient evidence, in the form of a red notice, or diplomatic note from the US, as well as a number of documents from Interpol in Washington, DC.
"I believe the judge did not understand Law No. 1/1979 on extradition, which was the basis of Lim's arrest and detention," said Armaini.
Lim had been in detention since Oct. 24, 2014. His arrest was reportedly made on the request of the US Justice Department.
Lim was one of four Singaporeans accused of illegally exporting US-made radio modules as parts of bomb components to Iran. The case came to light in October 2011, when two of the Singaporeans were extradited to the US. Since Singapore regarded Lim as innocent in the case, he was not sent to the US.
According to the police, the President has agreed to extradite Lim to the US despite the absence of an extradition treaty with the US.