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Jakarta Post

Muchdi's acquittal: A question of a broken promise

  • Imanuddin Razak,

    The Jakarta Post,

Jakarta   /   Sat, January 3 2009   /  10:33 am

It is not surprising that Maj. Gen. (ret) Muchdi Purwopranjono, a former deputy to the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief, was eventually acquitted of all charges laid against him in connection with the September 2004 murder of rights activist Munir Said Thalib. Legally speaking, we cannot criticize the South Jakarta District Court judges for acquitting Muchdi, as all the evidence presented in court was weak, and the key witnesses who initially testified against Muchdi eventually withdrew their testimonies over legal technicalities. What is evident from Muchdi's acquittal is the failure of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government, if not of the President himself, to fulfill the government's and his own promise to Munir's widow, Suciwati, to close the case -- that is, to discover the executor(s) and the mastermind behind Munir's murder. The court's decisio...