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Jakarta Post

Police officer named suspect over student deaths in Kendari protest

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, November 7, 2019   /   04:46 pm
Police officer named suspect over student deaths in Kendari protest Ballistic tests found that the bullets found on the scene were identical to those carried by the suspect. (Shutterstock/Nic Neufeld)

A police officer, identified only as AM, has been named a suspect in the deaths of two students that occurred during a violent protest in Kendari, North Sulawesi, in which a pregnant woman was also injured.

The student protest in front of the provincial legislative council (DPRD) building on Sept. 26 turned into a violent clash between students and police. Two students, La Randi, 21, and Muhammad Yusuf Qardawi, 19, were killed in the clash, while an expecting mother Maulida Putri, 23, sustained a shooting injury to her right thigh.  

“The investigators have completed the preliminary investigation and named AM a suspect,” Sr. Comr. Chuzaini Patoppoi from the National Police’s criminal investigation unit, said in Jakarta on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.

Chuzaini said AM was named a suspect after the investigators summoned 25 witnesses, including two expert witnesses and six police officers – including AM – who had been found guilty of arming themselves with firearms while securing the student protest.

The police have also obtained post-mortem reports, stating that Randi died after being shot. The reports, however, could not decide whether Yusuf’s death was caused by shot injuries or not.     

The investigators also conducted ballistic tests on three bullets and six bullet casings found on the scene.  

“The ballistic tests found that the bullets and bullet casings are identical to the firearm that AM used,” Chuzaini added.

AM will be charged under the Criminal Code’s Article 351 on assault, as well as articles 359 and 360 on negligence causing death. The charges carry a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment.

The National Police will take AM to Jakarta for further investigation.

Previously, AM and five other officers underwent disciplinary hearings for carrying firearms at the student protest.

The six officers – who are all from the Kendari Police – were sanctioned with 21 days in jail, written warnings and the postponement of salary, rank promotion and education. (gis)