The chief warden of the Cebongan
Prison, where four detainees were killed by a group of armed masked men early on Saturday, had
earlier planned to return the four detainees to the Yogyakarta Police.
“Once I knew that these four
detainees were the suspects allegedly involved in the murder of a
soldier, I began
to worry. I remember how angry soldiers set fire to the Ogan Komering
(OKU) Police headquarters recently. Therefore, I planned to return them
to the Yogyakarta Police detention center on Saturday,” chief warden
Sukamto Harto said on Saturday.
He denied, however, that he had received
any intelligence, insisting it was just wariness based on the previous
incident in South Sumatra. In that incident, dozens of soldiers
ransacked a police station and then set it on fire to show their
dissatisfaction with the lengthy investigation of the case, in which one
of their colleagues had been shot dead a few weeks
Yogyakarta Police chief Brig.Gen. Sabar
Raharjo echoed the warden's statement, saying that the police had not
received any intelligence regarding the
attack. He said his decision to move the four detainees to the Cebongan
was due to their cell at the police detention center being under repair.
“We were afraid they might escape through the broken ceiling; therefore, I decided to transfer them to the
Cebongan Penitentiary while waiting for the repairs to be completed,” Sabar said.
Commenting on this, Law and Human
Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin, who visited the penitentiary to view
the crime scene, said he expected the police, in cooperation with
police, to find who was responsible for the attack that had resulted in
the deaths of the four inmates and injuries to eight prison officers.
“Justice must be upheld. This is a serious
crime that was committed in a state institution and ended up with
people being killed,” he said.
A group of armed men
ransacked the Cebongan Penitentiary early on Saturday morning, killing
the four detainees: Yohanes Juan Mambait - a police officer, Hendrik
Angel Sahetapi, Gamaliel
Yermianto Rohi Riwu, and Candra Galaja, and injuring eight prison
The gunmen also took CCTV footage and cut
land telephone lines while inside the prison. The four detainees had
been charged with the murder of First Sgt. Heru Santoso, a former member
of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) who, at the time of his death,
was an intelligence officer at the Diponegoro Military Command. (dic)