East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Frans Lebu Raya has reportedly given the green light for the police to interrogate Ngada Regent Marianus Sae for allegedly ordering his subordinates to carry out a blockade of the Turelelo airport runway in Soa district.
NTT Police chief, Brig. Gen. I Ketut Untung Yoga Ana, said on Thursday that he welcomed the governor’s decision as it would facilitate the investigation into the case.
“If the governor said so, I expect that his office will process our letter [requesting a summons for Marianus] shortly after we submit it,” he told The Jakarta Post over the phone.
Frans said he was confident law enforcement agencies would resolve the case.
“I regret Marianus’ act by blockading Turelelo airport,” he was quoted as saying by tempo.co on Thursday.
On Saturday, Marianus allegedly told Ngada Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers to block the runway with their cars after he was denied a seat on a fully-booked Merpati Nusantara Airlines flight from El Tari Airport in Kupang to Turelelo.
NTT Police have named 15 Satpol PP officers as suspects in the case. They all face the maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of Rp 1 billion (US$82,236) each for violating Article 421 of the 2009 Aviation Law.
Untung said that the police were still searching for information on the individuals who ordered the blockade.
“Although the regent has acknowledged his actions to the media, we cannot ‘copy-paste’ that. We must directly ask the suspects to reveal those who had instructed them to block the runway,” he said.
The police must get approval from the NTT governor and legislative council in order to interrogate Marianus, as regulated in Law No. 34/2000 on regional autonomy.
Ngada Police chief, Adj. Sr. Comr. Bertolomeus I Made Oka Putra said that the National Police and NTT Police headquarters had sent a team of 10 officers to support his precinct.
“There are six officers from the National Police and another four from the NTT Police headquarters being deployed to support the Ngada Police in handling the case,” he told the Post on Thursday.
He said that currently his detectives were still questioning witnesses in the airport blockade case.
“If after questioning witnesses there are any indications that Marianus was involved, then the regent will be questioned as well,” he said.
Bertolomeus said the situation at Turelelo airport was back to normal following the blockade and there were no more problems with flights to and from the airport.
Meanwhile, Merpati manager in Kupang, Djibrael de Hock, said he had been summoned by Frans to explain the case to the governor.
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