Apriadi Gunawan, Langkat, North Sumatra – North Sumatra police's crime and forensic units exhumed two graves believed to contain the remains of people who died after being tortured in iron-barred rooms at the house of graft suspect and inactive Langkat regent Terbit Rencana Parangin Angin.
The police conducted exhumation at two different locations; one in Sawit Seberang district and the other in Sei Bingei, both in Langkat regency. The exhumations were followed by autopsies on the remains of the two bodies, identified as Sairanto Ginting and Abdul.
Representatives of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) were present during the exhumations.
North Sumatra spokesperson Sr. Comr. Hadi Wahyudi said the exhumations and autopsies were part of the investigation into the case.
"These are done to help make sure they were victims of abuse in regent Terbit's cage. We will announce the autopsy results to the public as soon as possible," Hadi told The Jakarta Post.
"The exhumations were important for the investigation and make certain that there was indeed fatal abuse," said Yasdad, a member of Komnas HAM's supervision and investigation division.
Previously, the police and Komnas HAM received information that fatal physical abuse had been inflicted on people who were kept in the cages.
The police have identified at least three people who are believed to have died during their time in the cages between 2015 and 2021, but added that there could be more victims. The police have also identified at least six victims who were physically abused while being held in the cages.
The cages were discovered by law enforcement authorities during a raid led by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to arrest Terbit last month. When the authorities discovered them, the cages held 48 people.
A cell was found at the regent's home, located in a 36-square-meter outbuilding that was divided by iron bars into two smaller chambers. They were being used to hold alleged drug addicts, teenage delinquents and several people who were believed to be working on Terbit's oil palm plantations without receiving wages.
Terbit is currently in KPK custody in Jakarta after the authorities arrested and named him a suspect in mid-January for allegedly demanding kickbacks from private contractors in exchange for infrastructure construction projects in the regency.