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Jakarta Post

Money, personal grudge thought to be behind murder of Medan journalist

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan, North Sumatra   /   Thu, March 30, 2017   /   10:50 pm
Money, personal grudge thought to be behind murder of Medan journalist North Sumatra police investigators show off the suspect in the murder of Medan journalist Amran Parulian Simanjuntak during a press conference in Medan, North Sumatra, on March 30. Amran was found dead on March 29. (Antara/Septianda Perdana)

North Sumatra Police’s violent crime unit arrested the alleged murderer of journalist Amran Parulian Simanjuntak whose motive is suspected to be personal grudge and not a reaction to Amran’s articles.

A team of investigators arrested Timbul Sihombing, 39, on Wednesday evening, 10 hours after Amran was found dead at Jl. Medan-Binjai, Deli Serdang regency, earlier that day.

Despite Amran’s family claiming that the killing might be related to stories he wrote for Senior weekly newspaper, North Sumatra Police chief Inps. Gen. Rycko Amelza Dahniel said personal issues are suspected as the motives.

“The murder did not have any relation to journalism. This was a purely personal matter between the victim and the suspect,” he told journalists on Thursday.

General Crimes Investigation Director at the North Sumatra Police Sr. Comr. Nurfallah said the case started when Timbul’s parents asked Amran to bring Timbul to a drug rehabilitation center,  as the latter allegedly had been using drugs since 2015.

“The victim agreed to help and asked for Rp 3 million (US$225). Timbul’s parent gave him Rp 4 million. However, it was found later that Amran did not take Timbul to a center but instead took him to an empty house, cuffed and beat him,” Nurfallah said.

Timbul then allegedly escaped from the house and with his parents, asked Amran to return the money. Amran initially promised to return the money but after a while, he avoided paying them back and instead hit and chastised Timbul.

Timbul said he did not have any intention to murder Amran. He claimed that he went to meet Amran on Wednesday to ask about the money, but Amran got mad and hit him until he fell. He then allegedly stabbed Amran with a knife.

Nurfallah said Timbul could be charged with article 340 on the Criminal Code with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. (rin)