Subject: RT: More senior Indonesia figures may face questioning
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 10:38:44 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
More senior Indonesia figures may face questioning 01:23 a.m. Aug 12, 1998 Eastern
JAKARTA, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Indonesian military chief General Wiranto has said an army board probing the abduction of activists by special forces troops might question more senior political figures, newspapers reported on Wednesday.
The Indonesian Observer daily reported that the BKO (controlled operations) order regarding action to be taken against the political activists was handed down to then special forces chief Lieutenant-General Prabowo Subianto by a senior officer.
``There are several types of BKO, depending on the level. Anyone can give a BKO order,'' Wiranto was quoted as saying.
Military officers have said the order did not come from Wiranto, who was then chief of army staff. The only others who could have issued the order were General Feisal Tanjung, then the military chief and currently a senior cabinet minister, and former president Suharto.
Prabowo, Suharto's son-in-law, was questioned on Monday on his apparent involvement in the abduction and torture of political activists.
On Monday, the chief of the army staff, General Subagyo Hadisiswoyo, who also heads the special board investigating Prabowo, said the investigation was still continuing.
``Principally, we have been trying to discover the reasons why Prabowo did this,'' Subagyo told a news conference outside the military court.
Prabowo, a rising star in Indonesia's military until Suharto's resignation on May 21 in the midst of riots and the nation's worst economic crisis in decades, faces court martial if proof is found of his involvement in the kidnappings.
Subagyo said the investigation had found that Prabowo received an order from a special intelligence unit, but the order had not come from Wiranto.
``The court is analysing whether there was a misinterpretation of the order,'' Subagyo said, without elaborating.
More than 20 anti-Suharto activists were abducted from late last year until March and human rights groups say at least 12 are still missing.
Activists who resurfaced said they were tortured during their detention, suffering beatings and electric shocks.
Prabowo was head of the Kopassus elite special forces when the kidnappings took place.
Wiranto said last month Kopassus had been involved in the kidnappings, prompting Prabowo to say he would take responsibility if there was proof his troops were involved.
In March, Prabowo was appointed head of the Kostrad strategic reserve, Indonesia's main combat force and the platform from which Suharto launched his takeover of the presidency in the 1960s.
The day after Suharto resigned, Prabowo was removed from this post and named head of the army command school in Bandung, West Java.
He was placed under suspension earlier this month pending the completion of the investigation.