The Jakarta Post
The National Military (TNI) officer who allegedly set an illegal parking attendant on fire at the National Monument (Monas) park in Central Jakarta will be tried in the military court, according to a police official.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said that the case had been transferred to the Military Police as of Thursday.
'All documents have been transferred to the Pomdam Jaya [Jakarta Military Police]. The suspect will be tried at the military court,' Rikwanto said on Thursday.
The officer, himself a Military Police officer identified as H, allegedly burned the parking attendant, identified as Yusri, because the latter failed to pay him Rp 50,000 (US$4). At 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday, the officer sprayed a bottle of gasoline on the victim and tossed a lit cigarette at him to set him on fire.
The TNI officer, who is a first private at the National Military Police Headquarters (Puspom), was arrested by the Military Police on Wednesday.
Rikwanto added that the police had confiscated two pieces of evidence: the bottle whose contents were sprayed on Yusri and Yusri's burned shirt.
Meanwhile, he added, Yusri was still undergoing intensive medical treatment at Tarakan General Hospital in Central Jakarta for severe burns.
'He is still unfit for questioning. More than 40 percent of his body was burned,' Rikwanto said.
Before the assault, the suspect and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation. After arguing for several minutes the suspect became angry, doused Yusri with gasoline and lit him on fire before fleeing the scene.
Rikwanto said that so far, eight witnesses who were present during the incident have been questioned.
He added that there were dozens of illegal parking attendants and street vendors in Monas park.
'We suspect that the TNI officer manipulated the illegal parking attendants and street vendors in order to extort a certain amount of money each week,' he said.
Previously, acting Jakarta governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama expressed his suspicion that extortion was commonplace in the Monas park.
He even threatened to fire Monas park management unit head Firdaus Rasyid for his failure to clear the area.
Ahok said he was suspicious that there had been illegal levies imposed and claimed he had gathered evidence of other irregularities, including cars that were allowed to enter the park and drop off vendors inside.
A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, previously confirmed such suspicions, saying that the TNI officer regularly went to Monas park to extort money from illegal parking attendants.
'All of the illegal parking attendants know [the TNI officer] very well because he comes here frequently,' the unnamed witness added.
Earlier this year, three military officers were allegedly involved in the extortion and murder of a man named Muhajir.
The three posed as police officers and detained Muhajir for gambling. They then contacted Muhajir's father, Isnanto, and demanded Rp 5 million in return for his son.
Isnanto agreed and asked to meet them at a golf course in South Jakarta.
They met the next day, but Isnanto failed to bring the money. The three military officers allegedly became angry and drove away with Muhajir in their car.
Isnanto followed, and the three men threw Muhajir out of the car and onto the road. Muhajir suffered serious injuries and died shortly after the incident. (dwa)
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