Headlines

Komnas HAM works with Army
on prison killing probe

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) will work with the Indonesian Army (TNI AD) to investigate the possible role of members of the Army Special Forces (Kopassus) in the killing of four detainees in Cebongan Penitentiary, Sleman, Yogyakarta.

Investigators from Komnas HAM were earlier denied access to a Kopassus Group 2 headquarters in Surakarta, Central Java, where some of the supposed assailants are thought to have their base.

“We don’t know about the mechanism for the investigation of Kopassus yet because this is the first time Komnas HAM has worked on a case involving the TNI. We will meet Kopassus’ request for us to get permission from Army headquarters before we proceed,” chair of Komnas HAM Siti Noor Laila said on Sunday.

Komnas HAM will hold a meeting with the Jakarta military commander and the Army Special Forces commander at Jakarta Army Headquarters on Monday.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo told a press briefing late on Friday that the TNI AD had set up a team to investigate the execution-style murder and that early indications showed members of the Army may be involved.

“Our preliminary findings show that some soldiers who were on duty in Central Java were involved in this incident,” Pramono said.

Pramono also said that the team, formed on Wednesday, consists of nine investigators, led by Military Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Unggul K. Yudhoyono.

The Army chief of staff said that the team would assist the National Police in its effort to apprehend the assailants.

Promono also acknowledged that the bullets used in the murder were identical to those used by the army.

Four detainess, Johanes Juan Manbait, Gamaliel Yeremianto Rohi Riwu, Adrianus Candra Galaja and Hendrik Angel Sahetapy alias Deki were killed by a group of armed men last Saturday morning.

These four detainees were accused of killing military intelligence officer, First. Sgt. Heru Santoso, who was formerly in Kopassus, in a fight at a café.

Member of the House of Representatives Commission I overseeing defense, foreign affairs and intelligence, Tubagus Hasanuddin, praised the Army’s decision to set up the investigating team.

“The army chief of staff has set a good example by being fair on this matter. Later on, we expect to see good cooperation between the army and the police investigators in seeking those responsible,” Hasanuddin, former military secretary, said on Saturday.

Separately, National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Suhardi Alius said that there were no new findings from the ongoing investigation yet.

However, the chief detective of Yogyakarta regional police Sr. Comr. Kris Erlangga said on Sunday that the police are now working on sketches of the assailants.

“We will distribute two sketches of the perpetrators who took off their mask during the attack,” Kris said as quoted by tempo.co.

The Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) has earlier pushed the Army investigation team to immediately produce sketches of the assailants and publish them, doubting if the police could produce them quickly enough.

“The seriousness of Polri in investigating the Cebongan attack should be questioned because one week has passed but the police have yet to make and publish sketches of the attackers,” said IPW chairman Neta S. Pane as quoted by Antara news agency.

The IPW praised the Army headquarters’ initiative to form an investigative team.

“It is understandable that they decided to establish an investigation team, as after the assault the Indonesian Military [TNI] received a lot of accusations. And it is the responsibility of the team to investigate the case and respond to the accusations,” said Neta.

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