Subject: Detik: If Wiranto becomes president Suharto’s crimes will

If Wiranto becomes president Suharto’s crimes will never be solved: Kontras - May 13, 2004

Woro Swasti, Jakarta ­ The coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Usman Hamid, says that if Wiranto is elected as president the investigation into [former President] Suharto’s crimes will come to a halt. This is because the Cendana family [Suharto’s Central Jakarta neighborhood, the relatives of the Suharto clan] were the ones who elevated the former minister of defence/armed forces chief [into a position of power].

“If Wiranto is elected then we will have a lot of problems. And he will definitely clear himself of all of the human rights charges which [he has] been accused of. What is certain is that Wiranto will guarantee the protection of Suharto and the Cendana family”, said Hamid.

This was related to journalists by Hamid after he spoke at a discussion titled “Reflecting on the May and Trisakti(1) cases: What is the responsibility of the state” at the Hotel Sahid Jaya on Jalan General Sudirman in Jakarta on Thursday May 13.

Although Wiranto has paired up with the recently resigned deputy chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Solahudin Wahid as his vice-presidential running mate, according to Usman this will not have much of an influence. “Pairing up with Solah [Wahid] does not mean that these human rights issues are resolved. Because upholding human rights does not depend on Solah who is only a part of Komnas HAM”, he said accusingly.

Hamid himself acknowledged he was certain that [the former state ruling party] Golkar’s presidential and vice- presidential candidates will be defeated in the coming presidential elections. “Indonesia’s period of transition [to democracy] has been too short to be able to forget pass mistakes. The families of the victims of human rights [violations] will not be willing to have Wiranto’s case left behind without [him taking] legal responsibility”, said Hamid. (ton)


1. On May 12, 1998, security personnel shot into a crowd of student protesters from the Trisakti University near their campus in West Jakarta, killing four students and injuring several. This proved to be the spark which set-off three days of mass demonstrations and rioting in Jakarta which eventually lead to the overthrow of Suharto.

[Translated by James Balowski.]


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