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Jakarta Post

Five Kopassus members detained after fatal fight in karaoke club

  • Ganug Nugroho Adi and Slamet Susanto

    The Jakarta Post

Surakarta,Central Java/Yogyakarta   /   Thu, June 4, 2015   /  01:15 pm

The Surakarta Military Police (Denpom) have detained five members of the Army'€™s Special Forces (Kopassus) for getting involved in a fight with Air Force members, killing one, Sgt. Maj. Zulkifli.

Surakarta Denpom commander Let. Col. Witono said that his office was currently holding five Kopassus members at the military headquarters for their involvement in the fatal brawl at the Bima Karaoke parlor in Solo Baru, Sukoharjo, Central Java.

'€œWe have detained five suspects. The number could increase in accordance with the investigation,'€ said Witono at the headquarters on Wednesday.

He said the military police were also questioning 17 witnesses in the assault involving 25 Kopassus members.

Air Force members, perpetrators and several employees from the karaoke parlor were being questioned as witnesses, he added.

'€œAs many as 17 witnesses have been questioned so far, including the perpetrators. We started the investigation on Tuesday,'€ he said.

Apart from the witnesses, added Witono, Denpom had studied the CCTV recording at the crime scene. Denpom will later conduct an investigation to better understand the case.

'€œDenpom officers have conducted investigations at the crime scene and filed the dossiers and carried out a reenactment of the case,'€ said Witono.

Witono said the brawl, involving Air Force and Kopassus members from the Kandang Menjangan Kopassus Group 2 in Kartasura, Sukoharjo, was a spontaneous clash and resulted from a personal issue.

'€œThe fight had nothing to do with [conflicts between] the units, it'€™s a personal issue. So, the case is a usual fight. But the victim and suspects were by chance [Indonesian Military] TNI members,'€ said Witono.

The clash broke out in the karaoke parlor early on May 31. Four Air Force members suffered injuries and two others were rushed to the Harjolukito Hospital in Yogyakarta for serious wounds.

Zulkifli died on June 1 after getting intensive treatment at the hospital.

Another victim, warrant officer Teguh Prasetya, is still in critical condition and is in a coma getting intensive treatment.

The body of Zulkifli has been airlifted to Jakarta and brought to the funeral home on Jl. Nusa Dua, Ciracas, East Jakarta.

Harjolukito Central Hospital head Air Marshal Benny H. Tumbeleka said his hospital worked together with the Sardjito Hospital to conduct an autopsy on Zulifli'€™s body to find out the cause of death.

'€œThe autopsy result will be known in a couple of weeks,'€ said Benny.

Brawls among military officers or between military and police officers are nothing new, especially since the downfall of authoritarian president Soeharto in May 1998.

Several fights occurred in the past three years, including on Nov. 19 last year when a major shoot out between army officers from Infantry Battalion 134 Tuah Sakti and Riau police'€™s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) police broke out at Brimob Batam headquarters. The incident, which lasted for almost seven hours, left one soldier dead, identified as First Pvt. Jack Marpaung, and a local street vendor, Kambani, injured.

On Oct. 13, 2014, a fire fight between members of the 756 Infantry Battalion and Kelapa Dua Brimob members assigned to Pirime, Lanny Jaya, left battalion commander Lt. Ali Okta with wounds to his left thigh. The clash prompted the Papua Police to withdraw members of the Kelapa Dua Brimob Detachment III from Lanny Jaya regency to Jayapura.

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