The Jakarta Post
Several parties are demanding clarity on the investigation by the city police into the alleged rape of a kindergarten pupil at Jakarta International School (JIS), as they say the police have not yet provided a comprehensive explanation, especially regarding the death of one suspect.
Irfan Fahmi, the lawyer of Azwar, the suspect who committed suicide on Saturday, said the police had not given him clear information on Azwar's condition since the latter's arrest on Saturday morning.
Azwar was found dead in a bathroom in police headquarters on Saturday at around 11 a.m. The police said he committed suicide after drinking Porstex, a cleaning liquid containing hydrochloric acid, which was found in the bathroom.
'Why did police not inform that they had arrested Azwar when they held the Saturday press conference at around 3 p.m.? Were they trying to cover something up?' he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
He said the police did not tell him when Azwar was found dead until later in the day, at Kramat Jati Police Hospital in East Jakarta.
'The police informed me of Azwar's death at around 10:30 p.m., when I arrived at hospital,' he said, adding that he had then told Azwar's family.
Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) chairman Neta S. Pane said in a press release on Sunday that the police appeared to have covered up Azwar's death and that IPW suspected that the police had not been balanced in conducting their investigation.
'IPW regrets the police decision to cover up Azwar's death and questions the police's professionalism, as they did not immediately question the JIS head of school and teachers,' he said in a press release on Sunday.
The way the police are handling the JIS case could frustrate many parties, including the suspects, as shown by the suicide of Azwar, said Neta, adding that he encouraged the public to monitor the case.
Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said the police had scheduled the questioning of JIS head of school Timothy Carr and several teachers this week.
'It will probably take place on Wednesday or Thursday,' Rikwanto told reporters on Monday.
Rikwanto also denied rumors that Azwar was tortured while in custody and rejected Irfan's claim that he saw bruises on Azwar's face.
'That is not right. The swelling on Azwar's body is natural for a dead body,' he said, adding that the police had taken the appropriate action in handling the suicide.
On Monday afternoon, 50 parents of JIS students arrived at the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) in Central Jakarta.
KPAI secretary Erlinda said the parents told KPAI they did not want the government to close JIS down permanently. Meanwhile, the KPAI suggested that parents have their children tested for herpes bacteria. (ask)
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