External team needed to
investigate Cebongan attack:

Setara Institute chairman Hendardi said on Sunday that an external investigation team needed to be created to reveal who was the mastermind behind the attack on Cebongan Prison in Sleman, Yogyakarta, last week.

In a press statement in Jakarta on Sunday, Hendardi said that there was alleged involvement by military personnel in the Cebongan incident as it seemed that only personnel with special skills could mount such an attack.

“From the way the attack was carried out, it is undeniable that the perpetrators come from a trained group,” said Hendardi as quoted by Antara news agency.

He added that the case should not be handled internally by either the Military (TNI) or National Police (Polri).

“What is needed is a special investigation team coming from neither the TNI nor Polri. There should be no impunity anymore for TNI members,” said Hendardi.

A group of armed men wearing masks ransacked Cebongan Prison in Sleman, Yogyakarta, killing four detainees who were charged with killing a Kopassus member in a recent incident at a local restaurant.

Hendardi said that putting the investigation process of the Cebongan Prison attack into the hands of an external investigation team could become a momentum to reform the military tribunals which had previously protected TNI members from general criminal law even for violations occurring outside military duties.

Speaking separately, former law and human rights minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra urged the TNI and Polri to jointly investigate who was responsible for the Cebongan attack.

“They should investigate together the fatal Sleman attack to figure out who was really behind the incident,” said Yusril.

He said an investigation should immediately take place to reveal who was responsible for the incident and whether the military personnel perpetrated the crime because the AK 47 rifle used in the incident was not a regular TNI weapon.

“If it was TNI personnel who perpetrated the crime, they should face both disciplinary and criminal sanctions, especially if it was an organized crime,” said Yusril, adding that recently violence committed by security officers and law enforcers had reached an alarming level. (ebf)

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