Soeharto blamed for Priok

JAKARTA: The National Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) demanded on Thursday the Attorney General's Office charge former president Soeharto and his generals suspects with crimes against humanity committed in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta 19 years ago.

Kontras chairman Ori Rahman expressed discontent with the fact that prosecutors investigating the Tanjung Priok massacre exempted Soeharto, Gen. (ret) Benny Moerdani and Gen. (ret) Try Sutrisno from 14 suspects declared recently. Benny and Try were the Armed Forces chief and Jakarta military commander respectively when the bloodshed occurred in 1984.

The current Special Forces commander, Maj. Gen. Sriyanto Muntrasan, heads the list of suspects, mostly military officers who were ordered to quell the antigovernment protests at the time. It is estimated that at least 33 people were killed.

""The naming of the suspects does not tell if gross human rights violations took place then,"" Ori said.

He said former minister of justice Ismail Saleh was also to blame for failing to ensure fair trials were held. -- JP

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