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Garuda boss jailed over activist murder susceptible to intimidation - Kasum

Kompas - April 15, 2008

Jakarta – The government must provide protection to Indra Setiawan after his release from jail on Monday April 14. The reason, because during his court hearing, the former executive director of Garuda Indonesia airlines provided a great deal of key evidence in the case of the murder of human rights activist Munir.

“Indra will be very susceptible to intimidation”, said Solidarity Committee for Munir (Kasum) secretary Usman Hamid on Monday. The maximum protection available to Setiawan therefore would be to arrest and take legal action against the people cited in his testimony.

“Whether or not the people cited in Indra’s trial are in fact involved or not in Munir’s murder, that is an issue that must be demonstrated through legal process. Because, if the only protection is providing a day round guard for Indra, he will not in fact be given his freedom. The other question is, how long will this protection go on?”, said Hamid.

During the court hearing, Setiawan said he believed that former Garuda pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto was a member of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN). This conviction arose because Setiawan received a letter from BIN that was delivered to him by Priyanto and Priyanto’s ability to arrange meetings between him and BIN Deputy Director M. A’sad (Kompas, 19/1/2008).

Kasum member Choirul Anam added that Setiawan’s testimony during the trial could be used as evidence to name new suspects. This is because Setiawan’s case has the strength of a permanent legal force.

Setiawan, who was sentenced to one year in jail by the Central Jakarta District Court, was finally released on Monday. His lawyer, Antawirya explained that he left the National Police Headquarters detention centre earlier on Monday. He was picked up by his children.

Antawirya said that one of the concerns felt by his client is that after leaving jail he would face security problems. “When he was going to leave, he (Indra) began to worry about this”, he said. (nwo/ana)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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