Subject: AN: Soldier killed at border violated procedures

ANTARA INTERACTIVE

INDON SOLDIER KILLED AT E TIMOR BORDER VIOLATED PROCEDURES

Antara Interactive - Politics (8/2/01) Denpasar, Aug 2 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian soldier who was shot to death on the border with East Timor recently violated tactical and technical procedures, Udayana Regional Military Commander Major General Willem T da Costa said here on Thursday.

He said the soldier`s errors were estbalished by a special team from the Strategic Intelligence Body (Bais) and the army that was assigned to investigate the case.

Da Costa said serviceman Lirman did not wear a uniform nor did he report to his superior before leaving his post last Saturday.

`Nobody knew that he had left the post to go to the spot where he was shot, about five kilometers away,` he said.

The chief of the 726/TML Batallion only knew that Lirman had left his station on receiving the first report that Lirman had been shot to death at a spot on the bank of a river marking the border line.

`Lirman died with seven bullets in his body,` he said adding the Indonesian soldier must have been showered with bullets.

About who had shot Lirman, Da Costa said, it must have been members of a United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNPKF) patrol.

The UNPKF command had admitted that its side was responsible for the shooting but did not explain why its men had fired to kill, he said.

Asked what the TNI would do next over the case, Da Costa said it was up to TNI Commander. `We have reported our findings in the field, so we will let the TNI chief decide the next steps,` he said.

He said the incident could have occurred because UNPKF troops had been very annoyed by and become very watchful towards former East Timor militia members.

He said the UNPKF posts had often been attacked by former militia members.

`So when they saw a man in plainclothes carrying a gun, they were immediately alarmed and, not wanting to take any chances, shot him. They think he was a militia member while in fact he was a TNI member,` he said.

(U.P004/Y001/HAJM-22:06/a/b005)


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