Subject: Former BIN Spy Muchdi Seeks to `Shut Down' Munir Defenders

also Muchdi asks court to drop appeal moves

The Jakarta Post

January 17, 2009

Former BIN Deputy Chief Seeks to `Shut Down' Munir Defenders

by Desy Nurhayati

Former top spy Muchdi Purwopranjono has confronted supporters of the assassinated Munir Said Thalib, saying he felt humiliated for being called "a killer" even though he was acquitted for the 2004 murder of the noted human rights activist.

Muchdi appeared at the Jakarta Police headquarters Friday for questioning following his legal suit against Usman Hamid, a rights activist and Munir's close friend, whom the retired two-star Army general accused of tarnishing his reputation by calling him a "killer" while on trial for the murder case.

Muchdi's team of lawyers filed the lawsuit to the city police on Jan. 8.

"Nobody should have to tolerate being accused of murder. I filed the report as an ordinary citizen and I ask the police to follow up on this case." Muchdi told reporters before his questioning session.

Accompanied by his lawyers Rusdianto and Ismail Tuasikal, the former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy chief said he would not give up the fight against those who ruined his reputation.

Rusdianto said after the questioning session that Munir's supporters had "humiliated" not only his client, but also Muchdi's family provoked the people attending the trial by yelling at my client. They should not have acted the way they did during the trial," Rusdianto said.

He said no evidence would be required to prove Muchdi's case, adding that all his team required were the testimonies of a few people who attended the trial.

In response, Usman Hamid said he was not deterred by Muchdi's action against him and would never stop seeking justice for Munir.

is an attempt to shut down my comments and shift the attention away from the main problem, which is solving who was behind the Munir murder," Usman, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

"I am wholly convinced that Muchdi was involved in Munir's death," he added.

Usman said he had also been sued by former BIN chief A.M Hendropriyono for the same reason.

"They say I am a suspect, but the police never summoned he said.

"The police should understand that in order to obtain justice, the perpetrators of Munir's murder should be caught. Making me the target is a mistake."


The Jakarta Post

January 16, 2009

Muchdi asks court to drop appeal moves

by Erwida Maulia

Former top intelligence official Muchdi Purwopranjono has moved to foil any attempt to overturn his acquittal in the high-profile murder of activist Munir Said Thalib.

Muchdi's lawyer Rusdianto went to the South Jakarta District Court on Thursday to request judges not forward an appeal to be filed by state prosecutors to the Supreme Court.

Rusdianto said prosecutors had breached Article 244 of the Criminal Law Procedure Code for contesting the court's verdict, which exonerated Muchdi of all charges.

The article says an appeal cannot be filed against a defendant's acquittal.

His lawyer said the article was already "clear" and "obvious".

"But, you see what has happened. The prosecutors filed an appeal," Rusdianto told The Jakarta Post.

"We do not want to put pressure [on the court]. We are just trying to remind judges to be consistent and avoid double standards when implementing the Criminal Law Procedure Code."

Rusdianto said the Denpasar District Court's refusal to forward a second case review of the three convicted Bali bombers was an example of the law being properly adhered to. The bombers were eventually executed last November.

Attorney General's Office (AGO) spokesman Jasman Pandjaitan, however, said it was common practice for prosecutors or convicts to file appeals if they felt justice was not delivered.

He said Muchdi's lawyers could counter-appeal if they objected to the AGO's appeal, which was filed Monday.

Jasman said Article 244 of the Criminal Law Procedure Code exempted only absolute acquittal, which was not the case in terms of Muchdi's situation.

"We still view Muchdi's acquittal as not absolute, and this is what we will prove in our appeal," he told the Post.

The South Jakarta District Court found Muchdi not guilty of masterminding the murder of Munir on Dec. 31 last year. Garuda pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto was sentenced to 20 years jail for the murder.

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