Subject: AP & JP: Indonesian Intel Agent Faces Murder Charge in
also: AP: Indonesian intelligence
agent faces murder charge
The Jakarta Post
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Ex-top spy stands trial for murder
Dian Kuswandini, The Jakarta Post,
The long road to finding the truth behind the murder of
human rights activist
Munir Said Thalib
four years ago will take a new twist with the trial of former top spy
Maj. Gen. (ret) Muchdi Purwopranjono.
Muchdi, a former deputy chief of the
State Intelligence Agency
(BIN),will stand trial beginning Thursday at the
South Jakarta District
Court on accusations of premeditating the assassination of Munir.
The crime carries a
maximum penalty of death under the Criminal Code.
"The court will hear prosecutors' indictment on Thursday," Attorney
General's Office spokesman Bonaventura Daulat Nainggolan said Wednesday.
The AGO has assigned eight prosecutors to handle the case.
Although the trial of Muchdi, also a deputy chairman of the Gerindra
Party, has grabbed the public's attention, Nainggolan said it was not
necessary to tighten security during the court hearing.
The AGO recently rejected Muchdi's request for a city arrest.
Nainggolan said the AGO would request the
maximum penalty for
Muchdi, as evidence of a letter brought by the police was solid enough
to prove the involvement of the former Army Special Forces (Kopassus)
The letter, which had been reported missing, was first mentioned in the
trial of Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, a former Garuda pilot who was
sentenced to 20 years for his part in the murder.
Former Garuda president director Indra Setiawan, a witness in the
Pollycarpus trial, testified he had received a classified letter from
the BIN asking that Pollycarpus be assigned as a security crew member
for Munir's flight to Amsterdam.
Deputy Attorney General
for General Crimes Abdul Hakim Ritonga had previously said among the
evidence for Muchdi's role in the murder were written records of letters
sent and received by the suspect, his cash flow and three letters
belonging to the BIN.
Ritonga said the prosecutors would present 13 witnesses, including Indra,
Pollycarpus and former BIN deputy chief M. As'ad. The BINchief at the
time of the murder, A.M. Hendropiyono, is not on the list of witnesses.
Muchdi's lawyer Achmad Cholid said his client was looking forward to
the trial to prove his innocence.
"My client isn't afraid of anything but a biased and unfair trial due to
pressures from many parties, including from the international
community," Cholid said Wednesday.
"We're afraid the court won't be independent. We hope judges will issue
a verdict based on facts, not pressures."
Rights activist Asmara Nababan, who joined a government-sanctioned
fact-finding team on Munir's murder, said Munir's widow Suciwati would
attend the court hearing along with other rights activists.
"Our presence is aimed at demonstrating our close attention to the legal
process of this case," Asmara said. He said activists would arrive at
the court early in the morning to make sure they would not run out of
When Army generals accused of
crimes against humanity
in East Timor in
1999 stood trial, soldiers packed the courtroom in a show of solidarity
with their superiors.
The Associated Press Thursday, August 21, 2008
Indonesian intelligence agent faces murder
A former top Indonesian state intelligence official went on trial
Thursday for allegedly ordering the murder of the country's most
prominent human rights
activist four years ago.
Retired army Gen. Muchdi Purwoprandjono, 60, was arrested in June on
charges of involvement in the poisoning of Munir Thalib, who died of an
arsenic overdose in September 2004 on a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam
aboard the state airline, Garuda.
Purwoprandjono could face the
death sentence if
found guilty of ordering the murder.
His trial at the South
Jakarta District Court reflects a giant leap in the investigation
of Thalib's killing, long undermined by high-level corruption.
Prosecutors were to detail the charges against him during Thursday's
Observers see the proceedings as an important gauge of progress in human
rights and judicial reform in
the end of the 32-year Suharto dictatorship a decade ago.
Purwoprandjono is the first official at the State Intelligence Agency to
be linked to a plot to have Thalib killed and could implicate other
Thalib gained fame and made many powerful enemies for exposing abuses by
the Indonesian army in East Timor and Papua during Suharto's U.S-backed
In January, the Supreme
Court sentenced Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, a 46-year-old
pilot, to 20 years in prison for carrying out the murder. Indra Setiawan,
a former airline official, received one-year sentence for accessory.
An independent fact-finding team established by
President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono revealed phone records of dozens of calls between
Priyanto and a phone registered to Purwoprandjono before the murder.
Purwoprandjono testified at Priyanto's trial that he shared the phone
with family and staff. (amr)
Joyo Indonesia News Service
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