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Hendropriyono challenges Munir Fact Finding Team to public debate

Tempo Interactive - June 13, 2005

Erwin Dariyanto, Jakarta – On Thursday June 16 the Fact Finding Team (TPF) in the death of human rights activist Munir will again invite Abdullah Mahkmud Hendropriyono in for questioning. The former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) director’s lawyer however has responded by challenging the team to a public debate.

Syamsu Djalal, Hendropriyono’s lawyer, said that he couldn’t understand the team’s motivation in insisting on questioning his client. “If the team want’s to find facts, yeah fell free to come [to us] (proactive). Don’t just play around sending endless invitations”, said Djalal on Sunday June 12.

Djalal claims there is a hidden agenda behind the summons and said therefore that Hendropriyono will challenge the team that was formed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to a public debate. The condition being however that two team members, Usman Hamid and Rachland Nashidik, do not attend the debate. “We are in the process of reporting the pair of them to the police”, said Djalal.

Hamid who was contacted separately said he had yet to receive the challenge for a public debate from Hendropriyono. The team he said would not be paying any heed to these maneuvers by the former Jakarta military commander. “Who does he think he is anyway?”, he said.

Hamid suspects that Hendropriyono is intentionally playing for time in order to avoid being questioned by the team as its duties will end on June 23. The team has already summoned Hendropriyono twice on June 6 and June 9.

This week the team will again question a number of former and active high-ranking officials from BIN. A number of Garuda Indonesia Airlines crewmembers will also be questioned. On Monday June 13, the team is scheduled to question Nurhadi Djazuli (BIN’s former general secretary) along with two other BIN staff members Sumarno and Sofy.

[Translated by James Balowski.]
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