Ambon – The Ambon and Lease Islands municipal police in Maluku have declared three people suspects for flying the banned South Maluku Republic (RMS) independence flag in the Village of Ulath in Saparua sub-district, Central Maluku regency.
One of the suspects is a recidivist in similar cases while the other two are new players. The three have been taken to the Ambon municipal police headquarters where they are being detained.
"One of the perpetrators with the initials FP is an old player or a recidivist, while his two colleagues with the initials AP and ML are new players", said Ambon and Lease Islands spokesperson Second Police Inspector I. Leatemia in Ambon on Sunday May 16.
Police have charged the three under Article 106 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) and or Article 110 of the KUHP which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years to life imprisonment.
According to Leatemia, the perpetrators flew the separatist flag on May 15 in the Ulath village. The action coincided with the anniversary of national hero Thomas Matulessy alias Captain Pattimura.
"Initially the police detained the two suspects then after developing the criminal investigation it was discovered that there was another perpetrator so police immediately arrested them", explained Leatemia.
Police also seized two RMS flags which were flowed from a mango tree near the home of an Ulath village resident named A. Manuputty.
The local police security and public order supervisory officer (Bhabinkamtibmas) reported that the flags were put up early on the morning of Saturday May 15 at around 2.30 am and taken down half-an-hour later.
That morning the Bhabinkamtibmas also reported two other flags being flown in the village, one in front of the home of a person with the initials AP and another in front of the home of the Ulath state secretary with the initials WT. (antara/jpnn)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "3 Tersangka Pengibaran Bendera RMS, 1 Pemain Lama, 2 Baru, Terancam Penjara Seumur Hidup".]