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ee also: SBY Implicated in Cover Up of Ambush Murder of U.S. Citizens (July 1, 2009)

New Study Links Indonesian Politician to 2002 Murder of U.S. Schoolteachers

Contact:
S. Eben Kirksey, Ph.D., University of California, skirksey@ucsc.edu, +1.831.600.5937
Andreas Harsono, Pantau Foundation, aharsono@cbn.net.id, +62.815.950.9000
 
August 17, 2008 - Fresh evidence links Indonesia's military to the 2002 murder of two American school teachers in the remote Papua province.  An article in the latest issue of South East Asia Research, a peer-reviewed journal published by SOAS in London, is an account of this murder mystery that is still the subject of an open FBI investigation. 
 
"Credible sources link Indonesian intelligence agents to the planning of this attack," said co-author Eben Kirksey, an American anthropologist.  "But, Senior Bush Administration officials -- including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, and FBI Director Robert Mueller -- have covered up evidence of Indonesian military involvement in the murder of U.S. civilians," continued Dr. Kirksey.  "The FBI has failed to bring this case to a definitive resolution."

 
Antonius Wamang.  

FBI agents apprehended a group of Papuan villagers in 2006 and delivered them to Indonesian authorities.  Indonesian courts sentenced seven of these men, including alleged ringleader Antonius Wamang, a guerilla fighter in Papua's independence movement, to jail time for participating in the attack.  But, Indonesian military involvement was not seriously considered at the trial.  "The Indonesian trial was a sham," says co-author Andreas Harsono, an Indonesian investigative journalist.  "Why did America trust this important case to a court system known for widespread corruption?"
 
Who Set Up the Murder?
Agus Anggaibak, a 27-year old member of the regional parliament, helped plan the ambush, according to reliable sources.  He also reportedly facilitated contacts between the shooters and active duty military agents.  In an interview with report authors, Anggaibak admitted to having ties with Indonesia's intelligence agency, BIN, but denied any involvement in the attack.  But, he also admitted to meeting with Antonius Wamang, the convicted ringleader.  "Credible journalists have long reported that the highest levels of the Indonesian military had foreknowledge of this murder," said Dr. Kirksey.  "We have identified the probable field agent who carried out the plan."
 
Evidence of Indonesian Military Shooters
Indonesian soldiers fired their weapons at the scene of the ambush, according to ballistics reports.  School teachers who survived the ambush saw uniformed men speed away from the crime scene in the moments after their colleagues were murdered. 
 
The article, titled "Criminal Collaborations: Antonius Wamang and the Indonesian Military in Timika", draws on over 2,000 pages of Indonesian-language courtroom documents, recently declassified U.S. State Department cables, and over 50 interviews.  The full article is available here: http://skyhighway.com/~ebenkirksey/writing/Kirksey-Harsono_Timika.pdf.

-30-

see also

Joyo News/Pantau Exclusive Report: Murder at Mile 63; Media Release

The West Papua Report - Back Issues

U.S.-Indonesia Military Assistance pages


The Age (Melbourne)

Indonesia linked to teacher deaths

Tom Hyland
August 17, 2008

NEW evidence has emerged linking the Indonesian military to the 2002 murder of two American teachers and an Indonesian colleague in a remote region of Papua, according to research by a US academic and an Indonesian investigative journalist.

"Credible sources link Indonesian intelligence agents to the planning of this attack," said Eben Kirksey, an anthropologist at the University of California, who co-wrote a new report on the killing with journalist Andreas Harsono.

Teachers Ricky Spier, Ted Burgon and Bambang Riwanto were shot dead and five others wounded in an ambush near the giant Freeport gold and copper mine on August 31, 2002.

Pro-independence guerillas were blamed, but human rights groups have long accused the Indonesian military of involvement in the attack.

The new allegations will be published in a report in a British academic journal tomorrow, drawing on what the authors say are more than 2000 pages of Indonesian court documents, recently declassified US State Department cables, and more than 50 interviews.

Dr Kirksey said senior US officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, had helped cover up evidence of military involvement, while the FBI had failed to bring the case to a definitive resolution.

The US was keen to have the case resolved so it could resume defence co-operation with the Indonesian armed forces as part of the war on terrorism.

A possible motive for military involvement in the attack was to convince the Freeport mine's owners of the need to continue to pay for security. Seven men were sentenced over the killings, including alleged ringleader Antonius Wamang, a guerilla fighter in Papua's independence movement, who received a life term.

Military involvement was not seriously considered at the trial, which was a sham, said Mr Harsono, the journalist.

The researchers quote "reliable sources" saying Agus Anggaibak, a 27-year old member of the regional parliament, helped plan the ambush and facilitated contacts between the shooters and military agents.

In an interview with the authors, Mr Anggaibak admitted to links with Indonesia's intelligence agency, BIN, but denied any involvement in the attack. He also admitted to meeting Mr Wamang.

The report will appear in the journal South East Asia Research.


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