Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has formed an ad hoc team to investigate gross human rights violations in the case of the 2004 assassination of renowned human rights activist Munir Said Thalib.
Komnas HAM Chairperson Ahmad Taufan Damanik said that the move was agreed to at a plenary meeting on Friday August 12. Thus the Munir case will be pursued referring to Law Number 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts.
"One of the decisions [at the plenary meeting] was agreeing to form a Gross Human Rights Violations Ad Hoc Investigation Team into the Munir Said Thalib Assassination Incident", said Damanik in a press release on Sunday August 14.
Damanik said that the ad hoc team members from the commission and those representing social elements would be determined at the next Komnas HAM plenary meeting.
Based on Law Number 26/2000, said Damanik, the determination of whether or not the Munir case is a gross human rights violation must be through a pro-justitia investigation conducted by the ad hoc team.
The results of the pro-justitia investigation will be taken to a plenary meeting for a decision on whether it represents a gross human rights violation or not. "So the ad hoc team must conduct a pro-justitia investigation first", he said.
If the case is declared as a gross human rights violation, the Komnas HAM must then send the dossier to the Attorney General's Office (AGO). If the AGO considers the dossier to be complete, the Munir case can be tried as a special case with ad hoc human rights judges.
The Komnas HAM had earlier wanted to immediately publish an explanation on the status of the Munir case and whether or not it was an ordinary case or a gross human rights violation. Komnas HAM commissioner Choirul Anam said that they had already summoned at least four experts to delve into the Munir case.
"Will this be investigated using Law Number 26/2000 (on human rights courts) or not, later it will be decided. Hopefully it will be settled within the next two months", Anam told journalists in Bekasi, West Java, on Thursday May 19.
In September this year the Munir murder case will be 18-years old and the time limit on prosecuting the case will expire in accordance with Article 78 Paragraph (1) Section 3 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on prosecuting crimes subject to the death sentence such as premeditated murder.
If however it is declared as a gross human rights violation, the Munir case will not expire and an investigation can be conducted in accordance with the mechanism of Law Number 26/2000. (yla/lth)
Renowned human rights defender Munir died of arsenic poisoning onboard a Garuda Indonesia flight on September 7, 2004. Although off-duty pilot Pollycarpus Priyanto was convicted of the murder in 2005 the alleged mastermind behind the assassination, former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy Muchdi Purwoprandjono, was later acquitted of all charges. Also implicated in the murder but never investigated was former BIN chief AM Hendropriyono. Hendropriyono, a close ally of Megawati Sukarnoputri – the chairperson of President Joko Widodo's ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) – was cited in US diplomatic cables leaked in 2011 as being involved in the planning of Munir's murder. In 2014 Hendropriyono was appointed an advisor to newly elected President Widodo.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Komnas HAM Bentuk Tim Ad Hoc untuk Kasus Munir".]