Subject: Wiranto's Suspect Cronies Still Clinging to Top Posts

Also: Wiranto admits military took part in ETimor violence

South China Morning Post Wednesday, February 16, 2000


Wiranto's suspect cronies still clinging to top posts


With the suspension of General Wiranto from the cabinet, one of 33 alleged human rights abusers has been rendered inactive, but several others remain in full employ.

Named alongside General Wiranto were Major-General Adam Damiri, Major-General Zacky Anwar Makarim, Brigadier-General Tono Suratnam, Colonel Nur Muis and Brigadier-General Timbul Silaen.

"When we start working on them, with them being indicted and so on, certainly they should also follow [suit]," said H. S. Dillon, a member of the investigation team KPP-HAM, which decided who was responsible for the violent rampage in East Timor last year.

This could be within two or three weeks, following Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman's comment to local television: "We hope that in two or three weeks there will be an officer who becomes a suspect." For the moment however, General Damiri is still a staff officer at armed forces headquarters in Jakarta, following his duty as regional commander in Bali, while General Zacky retains his rank in Jakarta even as he prepares his defence.

General Tono, recently promoted, is thought to be earmarked for a district command post following his tour as commander in Dili, East Timor.

Colonel Muis remains in the Udayana Command, based in Bali where he oversees Nusa Tenggara (from Lombok to West Timor).

General Timbul Silaen, former police chief in East Timor, has also been promoted but has yet to be given a new command.

These are the men who had far more to do with daily events in East Timor than General Wiranto, but these are military appointments rather than political posts. 

February 16, 2000

Wiranto admits military took part in ETimor violence

JAKARTA (AFX-ASIA) - Former armed forces chief General Wiranto admitted that some of his troops took part in the burning, looting, and killing by pro-Indonesian militia as soon as the vote results in East Timor were announced on Sept 4.

"I never denied this. I accept this as a fact," Wiranto said in an interview with the private RCTI television channel.

"I admit there were individuals from the military and police who acted against the law, and they happened to be native East Timorese."

He also said he has asked his successor as military chief, Admiral Widodo Adisucipto, to try those who participated in the violence according to the law.

The ballot itself was a success but was tainted by rigging by local UN officials, said Wiranto, who has been suspended as senior security minister pending the results of an inquiry into his alleged responsibility for last year's violence in East Timor.

"We could create a peaceful situation for four months (before the vote). There were 4,000 foreigners and all of them were safe. We received praise from foreign countries," Wiranto said.

"But the ballot was announced too early ... and the result was a blow to pro-integrationists. This triggered emotional outburst," he said of the result, which was overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Indonesia.

"The TNI (military) as a solid institution .. which carries out a mission based on clear guidelines and procedures, would never plan something that can violate human rights," Wiranto said

On the possibility of his supporters initiating violence following his removal from the cabinet, Wiranto said: "That's what I'm worried about."

"Don't let this affair become a pretext for other parties to create new troubles. Our nation already has a multitude of problems." he said.

During the interview, Wiranto also showed his own collection of video compact discs showing his peace message at the inauguration of a peace pact between conflicting East Timorese factions before the UN-sponsored vote on independence on Aug 30.

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