Indonesian police say they will probe the shooting deaths of three workers by Malaysian police over alleged robbery, as their bodies arrived in Surabaya, East Java Wednesday.
A forensics team carried out an autopsy on the bodies of the three men — Muchlis, Musdi and Abdul Sanu — at the Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Surabaya on Wednesday, prior to sending them off to their hometown in Beduk Tobai Tengah village in Sampang, Madura Island.
East Java Police spokeswoman Pudji Astuti said the autopsy was part of investigation of the case.
“The investigation is being handled by the National Police, and we’re just following their orders to carry out the autopsy,” she told The Jakarta Post.
“We picked up the bodies at Juanda International Airport at 10:45 this morning, and the autopsy is still underway.”
Forensics expert Mun’in Idris, from Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital in Jakarta, said there were other wounds on the bodies besides gunshot wounds, indicating excessive use of force, but declined to provide details.
“The bodies are warm and stiff due to too much formalin,” he said.
“We want to ensure they really did die of gunshots.”
Malaysian media reported the three men had been believed to be responsible for robberies at 19 houses, including the house of senator Wira Syed Al Habshee, and another at the Saujana Golf Resort in Subang, causing more than Rp 1.7 billion in financial losses.
The Selangor Police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, was quoted as saying the three were shot dead on March 16.
They had been involved in a car chase with police, but had crashed into a tree and had attempted to attack police with firearms and blades, he said.
Their bodies were taken to Selangor’s Tanjung Karang Hospital for an initial autopsy.
However, a source at the East Java Police told the Post that Indonesian police would build up their own investigation after receiving conflicting reports from several witnesses, including the victims’ co-workers.
The source said the witnesses had told Indonesian Embassy officials that prior to the shooting, the three, along with three other migrant workers, had been picked up from home by police.
The whereabouts of the other three remains unknown.
The embassy also reported the six migrant workers had been detained without a warrant, the source said.
Syafuddin, a relative of one of the victims, Muchlis, said the families had urged police to thoroughly investigate the incident, adding the three construction workers were not criminals.
“They were good people,” he said at the Surabaya hospital.
“They couldn’t even drive, despite what the Malaysian police said.”
Beduk Tobai Tengah village chief Rosul said Musdi had worked in Malaysia for more than 10 years without incident, sending back money to his mother every month and coming home once a year to see his child.