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5 oddities surrounding the arrest of Novel Baswedan's attackers

Tempo - December 30, 2019

Koran Tempo, Jakarta – The Jakarta Metro Jaya Police has named two suspects in the attack on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator, Novel Baswedan.

The suspects, 990 days after the attack took place, were identified as RM and RB have been taken into custody for the next 20-days.

However, a number of anti-corruption activists welcomed the news with skepticism after the arrest is seen as an attempt to 'cover-up' the mastermind behind the attack.

"It must be confirmed that the people involved are not those trying to cover up those with larger roles in the attack," said Novel Baswedan's advocacy team member, Yati Andriyani in a written statement on Friday, December 27.

The following are 5 oddities in the arrest of the suspects:

Suspects' SPDP (Commencement of Investigation Notice) yet to be known

The police institution established the third SPDP and the tenth Investigation Progress Notification (SP2HP) on December 23, 2019, addressed to the Jakarta's high prosecutor. The letter signed by the criminal investigation body director Suyudi Arioseto stated that Novel's attackers are yet to be known.

Were the suspects arrested or did they surrender?

There is two conflicting information regarding whether the suspects were arrested or surrendered as the Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) chairman, Neta S Pane, wrote a Facebook status on September 27, at 12:00 WIB regarding the two suspects who have surrendered. This status was then erased by Neta.

On the same day, IPW released information about the items used in the acid attack on Novel Baswedan at 17:00 WIB. This information was released in detail prior to the police's very brief press conference at 18:00, which stated the suspects were arrested at Cimanggis, Depok.

Could the police prove the suspects' actions?

Yati Andriyani argues that police are unable to truly prove that the suspects are the actual attackers against Novel Baswedan. The same doubt was questioned by Lokataru Director Haris Azhar who argues the information released by the police does not correlate with the facts, witness testimonies, and statements that have been collected.

The difference between the suspects and initial police sketch

According to Tempo's investigation, RB's actual identity is believed to be Ronny Bugis, a member of the police mobile brigade (Brimob) brigadier while RM's identity remains a mystery. RB's face does not match the police sketch but rather looks similar to a sketch Tempo published in July 2017.

However, Haris Azhar is not in a hurry to believe the similarity between the sketch and the suspects. He says there are pieces of evidence in the field that is yet to be identified by police such as the motorcycle used by the Novel Baswedan's two spotters.

The suspect's motives differ to the fact-finding team's report

As he was taken to the prisoner vehicle, RB yelled to journalists gathered at the location; "Let it be recorded, I dislike Novel because he is a traitor," he said on Saturday, December 28, as he was being transported to the Indonesian National Police Headquarters (Mabes Polri).

Haris Azhar said he doubts the truth behind this motive and said it resembles the case involving the murder of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib. Munir's convicted murderer, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, also once accused Munir of being a traitor. "That is a motive commonly expressed when a state commits a crime against its citizens," said Haris Azhar on Sunday.

– Budiarti Utami Putri, Andita Rahma and Rosseno Aji

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1289257/5-oddities-surrounding-the-arrest-of-novel-baswedans-attackers