Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – The House of Representatives has approved the government's plan to provide an amnesty for 70 Acehnese former rebels, including their leader, Nurdin Ismail aka Din Minimi, who surrendered earlier this year.
A member of House Commission III overseeing legal affairs, Bambang Soesatyo, however, said the former rebels should initially be subject to due process of law and obtain legal certainty for their past crimes.
"The House agrees with the Indonesian Military [TNI] and the police that only [former rebels] who have obtained legal status should be eligible for the amnesty," Bambang stated during Thursday's hearing.
Of a total 70 former rebels, 21 have been convicted and are now behind bars, while the other 49 have integrated back into society, Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said earlier.
He stressed that all legal processes to determine the status of the former rebels would continue ahead of the approval of the amnesty, as suggested by the police and TNI during the hearing.
State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Sutiyoso said that granting an amnesty for Din Minimi's group was an important way of building trust between former rebels and the government and forestalling the outbreak of further conflict in the area. (bbn)