Jakarta – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has appointed five retired generals to be the ministry's special assistants, including the former commander of the infamous Tim Mawar (Rose Team) of the Army's elite Special Forces (Kopassus).
The five listed in a 2019 defense ministerial decree on special assistants to the minister were the Mawar team commander, Maj. Gen. (ret) Chairawan Kadarsyah Kadirussalam Nusyirwan, Lt. Gen. (ret) Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, Lt. Gen. (ret) Hormangaradja Pandjaitan, Vice Adm. (ret) Didit Herdiawan and Air Rear Marshal (ret) Bonar H. Hutagaol.
The decree stated that the appointments took effect on Dec. 6, as kompas.com reported.
Tim Mawar was previously implicated in a series of kidnappings and disappearances of prodemocracy activists in the late 1990s, when the minister was heading Kopassus.
Prabowo's spokesperson, Dahnil Anzar, said that Prabowo had appointed the special advisors because they had established abilities for the defense department.
He cited as an example Sjafrie, who was the deputy minister of defense and the secretary-general of the ministry under Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's administration.
"The defense minister really needs his capabilities to provide input and give special attention to Prabowo's work as minister," he said on Monday. (ars)