Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The convicted murderer of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, died on Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19.
"He died at 2:52 p.m. at Pertamina Hospital [in Jakarta]," Pollycarpus' former lawyer Wirawan Adnan said on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.
Wirawan said he received the news from Pollycarpus' wife, Yosepha Hera Iswandari. He added that Pollycarpus had been diagnosed with COVID-19 just over two weeks ago.
The former Garuda airline pilot was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2006 for his role in the death of the prominent human rights campaigner during a flight from Jakarta to Singapore on Sept. 6, 2004.
He was granted parole by the government in 2014 and officially finished his sentence in 2018.
The Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (KASUM) said Pollycarpus' death should not end the investigation into Munir's death.
"It is important to note that the murder of Munir was not simply a crime but a conspiracy that involved many parties besides Polycarpus who must be found, tried and punished," KASUM secretary-general and constitutional law expert Bivitri Susanti said in a written statement on Saturday. "We believe the investigation into Munir's murder is not held back by a lack of evidence or by Pollycarpus' death but rather by the government's lack of political will."
Bivitri also called for the authorities to open an investigation into Pollycarpus' death, given his knowledge of the masterminds behind Munir's murder.
"Authorities should conduct an objective and open investigation into Pollycarpus' death in order to dismiss any suspicions," she said.