After exploring admission in Civil Procedural Law, now we will review the topic of an accused’s testimony, or known as an accused’s admission. First of all, admission is not recognized in the Indonesian Criminal Procedural Law. A testimony, explanation or admission made by an accused in a trial, is known as an Accused’s Testimony.
The regulation about an accused’s testimony as one of the legal means of evidence is regulated under Law No. 8 of 1981 concerning Criminal Procedural Law, Article 184 paragraph (1), which states:
(1) Valid means of evidence is:
a. Witness statement;
b. Expert statement;
e. Accused’s Testimony.”
Furthermore, the definition of an accused’s testimony is regulated in Article 189 of the Criminal Procedural Law which states:
(1) An accused’s testimony is what an accused stated in the hearing about the actions that he did or which he personally knew or experienced himself.
(2) An accused’s testimony given outside the court can be used to help find evidence in the trial, provided that the testimony is supported by a valid means of evidence on the matter which he is accused of..”
Based on the article above, legal experts Darwan Prinst, S.H. and Prof. Dr. Edward Omar Sharief Hiariej, S.H. , M.Hum. concluded that there are two important matters related to an accused’s testimony before and outside the court, namely as follows:
- An accused’s testimony must be given before a court hearing; while
- An accused’s testimony given outside the court can only be used to find evidence in the trial.
It should be noted that admission of guilt of the accused does not eliminate the obligation of the Public Prosecutor and the trial to add and improve that admission with other evidence, as stipulated in Article 189 paragraph (4) of the Criminal Procedural Law, which states:
“An accused’s testimony alone is not enough to prove that he is guilty of committing the act charged with him, but must be accompanied by other evidence.”
According to the legal expert Yahya Harahap, what is implied in Article 189 paragraph (4) of the Criminal Procedural Law means that admission according to the Criminal Procedural Law is not evidence that has a “perfect” evidentiary value or not volledig bewijs kracht, nor does it have a “determining” evidentiary value or not beslissende bewijs kracht. Considering that an accused’s testimony or Admission is not evidence that has perfect and determining evidentiary value, the Public Prosecutor and the trial still have an obligation to make an effort to prove the accused’s wrongdoing with other evidence. Criminal Procedural Law does not recognize testimony or “unanimous admission” and “pure”. Whether or not there is a testimony from an accused, there is still an obligation to prove the wrongdoing of the accused in the trial.
In line with Yahya Harahap, legal expert Eddy O.S. Hiariej also explained that an accused’s testimony in the context of evidentiary law, in general, could be equated with admission evidence. According to Mark Frank, John Yarbrough, and Paul Ekman, admission without evidence that strengthens a testimony has no value.
Furthermore, according to Dr. H.P. Panggabean, S.H., M.S., the evidentiary value of an accused’s testimony can be carried out through the 3 (three) criteria below:
1. The character of the evidentiary value is free.
In the criminal law evidentiary system, the Judge has the authority to judge the truth of the accused’s testimony based on argumentative reasons by connecting it with other evidence.
2. Judges’ assessments must be based on a minimum level of evidence.
Ratification of Article 189 (4) of the Criminal Procedural Law contains the principle of the minimum limit of evidence to convict the accused that there must be at least one other evidence to suffice the evidence of an accused’s testimony.
3. Must fulfill the principle of the Judge’s conviction.
The judge’s conviction must be attached to the decision taken in accordance with the evidentiary system regulated in Article 183 of the Criminal Procedural Law (the principle of proof according to the Act negatively).
Accused’s Testimony Outside the Court (The Admission Outside the Court)
One of the principles of assessment that determines the validity of the accused’s testimony as evidence is that the testimony must be stated at the court hearing. Based on this principle, it can be concluded that an accused’s testimony stated outside a court hearing has no value as valid evidence. However, is an accused’s testimony or statement outside the court unable to be used in the evidentiary process?
To answer this question, it is necessary to study the provisions of Article 189 paragraph (2) of the Criminal Procedural Law which basically explains as follows:
- An accused’s testimony given outside the court can be used to “help” find evidence in a court hearing;
- However, with the condition that the provided testimony is outside the trial is:
- Supported by valid evidence;
- And the testimony stated outside the court as long as related to the matter charged to him.
Based on this provision, an accused’s testimony stated outside the court cannot be declared as evidence and therefore cannot be used as evidence. However, in principle, an accused’s testimony can be used to “help” to find evidence in a court hearing if the testimony is supported by evidence related to the matter charged to him. If the testimony outside the court is not supported by one of the legal means of evidence the testimony cannot be used or cannot function as a supporting tool to find evidence in the trial. However, if an accused’s testimony or admission outside the trial is supported by one of the legal evidence, its function and value will remain as a “supporting tool” for finding evidence at trial.
Hope this is useful.
PINAKUNARY LAW OFFICES
 Darwan Prinst, S.H. in his book with title “Criminal Procedural Law in Practice”, 1998, Pg. 145.
 Prof. Dr. Edward Omar Sharief Hiariej, S.H., M.Hum. in his book with title “Theory and Laws of Evidence”, 2010, Pg. 112.
 M. Yahya Harahap, S.H. in his book with title “Discussion of Problems and Implementations of Indonesian Criminal Procedural Law: examination trial, Appeal to the High Court, Appeal to the Supreme Court and Judicial Review”, 2010, Pg. 275.
 Dr. H.P. Panggabean, S.H., M.S. in his book with title “Laws of evidence, theory-practice and Jurisprudence of Indonesia”, Pg 94.