Subject: Munir update: Police set up investigation team to discover "mastermind"

The Jakarta Post

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Team to follow up Munir verdict

JAKARTA: The National Police has set up an investigation team to discover the role of other parties in the assassination of rights activist Munir Said Thalib in 2004.

Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Sisno Adiwinoto said Wednesday the team would start with the questioning of Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, the convicted killer of Munir.

"We hope Polly will cooperate and reveal anyone who may have helped or masterminded the murder," Sisno said.

He added that testimonials and verdicts from the latest trials related to the murder had given the police more information about the high-profile murder, including the alleged involvement of the State Intelligence Agency.

Usman Hamid, former member of the fact-finding team for the case, expressed optimism the police could resolve the case.

"The police investigators have promised me the witness will be used to uncover the brain behind the case," he said.


The Jakarta Post

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Court acquits ex-Garuda secretary in Munir trial

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Central Jakarta District Court acquitted former Garuda chief pilot secretary Rohainil Aini from all charges of a role in the premeditated murder of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib.

"The court has found the defendant not guilty of falsifying the assignment letter," presiding judge Makassau told the court.

"She was merely acting in line with her job description, which requires her to follow her superior's orders," he said.

Rohainil was accused of assisting in the high-profile murder and falsifying the assignment letter that enabled Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto to board Munir's flight on Sept. 7, 2004.

Munir was found dead after he was poisoned on board the flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam via Singapore.

The judges said Pollycarpus received his assignment letter from Rohainil after claiming he was acting upon orders from then-Garuda vice president of corporate security unit Ramelgia Anwar.

Pollycarpus promised to contact the flight's chief pilot Karmel Sembiring regarding his assignment.

"The fact is Pollycarpus never received any assignment from Ramel, nor did he gain permission from Karmel," Makassau said.

The same court sentenced former Garuda president director Indra Setiawan to one year in prison for assisting Pollycarpus in Munir's assassination.

Rohainil's lawyer M. Assegaf hailed his client's acquittal, but said the District Court's ruling ran counter to the Supreme Court's decision last month to sentence Pollycarpus to 20 years in prison for the murder and for counterfeiting flight documents.

"The judges have said the letter provided by Rohainil was not forged, but the Supreme Court said that Pollycarpus used a fake letter, so what kind of letter was it exactly?" said Assegaf, who will represent Pollycarpus in his case review attempt.

"This is the next mystery revolving around Munir's death."

The police said they would continue their investigation of the case.

Following Pollycarpus' verdict, the police called on all parties, including the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), to cooperate in the investigation.

The court heard during Pollycarpus' appeal the connection between the defendant and former BIN official Muchdi Purwo Prandjono and the role of deputy BIN chief M. As'ad in the issuance of the assignment letter.

According to a BIN agent's written statement read out in court, Muchdi gave Pollycarpus Rp 10 million (US$1,087) on June 14, 2004, and another Rp 3 or Rp 4 million after that, for an unknown purpose.

Police said they expected to name new suspects by June at the latest. (anw)

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