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Announcement of new suspects linked to UN rights commission hearing

Kompas - April 12, 2007

Jakarta, Kompas – The announcement by Indonesian police chief General Sutanto of the initials of two new suspects in the Munir murder case has raised questions among members of the House of Representatives (DPR) and activist circles. They are asking what the police actually want to solve, a case of document falsification or Munir’s murder.

Speaking at the State Palace, Sutanto asked all parties to be patient and wait for the conclusion of the police investigation into the murder. The investigation is still continuing and it is possible that the number of suspects could grow. “The investigation is still proceeding. If everything is finished, it will be announced. Please be patient”, said Sutanto on Wednesday April 11. The day before Sutanto announced the initials of two suspects, IS and R saying that both are from Garuda Indonesia airlines.

In relation to the investigation and the naming of the two new suspects, Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi said that the president had yet to receive a report from Sutanto because it was not yet reached the stage where it must be reported. The president is following developments in the investigation of the Munir case that has attracted the attention of the mass media.

Not just a sweetener

The head of the DPR’s Commission III, Trimedya Pandjaitan said he appreciates the developments achieved by police in cracking the Munir’s murder. He hopes however that this achievement is not just a sweetener in the lead up to the United National Human Rights Commission hearing. “The cracking of the Munir case should not end with two people, but uncover the links in the chain in order to discover who Munir’s murderer actually is”, he continued.

Commission III member Nursyahbani Katjasungkana from the National Awakening Fraction is also asking Sutanto to quickly conclude the investigation and report the results to the public.

Non-government organisation (NGO) activists also held a press conference in Jakarta. NGO activists Amiruddin Al Raham said he suspects that the two new suspects are linked with efforts to secure the re-nomination of Indonesia as a member of the UN Human Rights Commission who will be elected in late May.

Former Munir Fact Finding Team member Asmara Nababan raised questions about the basis for Sutanto to cite the initials IS and R. Are they being named as suspects in the murder case or just in relation to the falsification of documents, as was the case in the previous suspect Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto.

“We are taking issue with the status of the two initials of the new suspects. What actually needs to be investigated is the murder case, right, and not the falsification of documents at Garuda. Indeed what business is it of Garuda’s to want to murder Munir”, he said. (dwa/nwo/sut/sf)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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