Police intentionally dragging out Munir murder investigation - expert

, by Kompas

West Bandung — The investigation into the murder of
human rights fighter Munir continues to roll along.
A new suspect linked with the case has emerged
although the national police are keeping the
individual’s identity confidential.

“On the question of the new suspect, police will of
course give out the name. Currently we are in the
process of gathering material evidence, witnesses
and other information. We will inform [the public]
as soon as possible”, said Indonesian Police Chief
General Sutanto after attending the closing ceremony
of the High Level Administrative Leadership and
Staff School (Sespati) G-14 and the National Police
Regular Education Leadership and School Staff School
(Sespim Dikreg) in Lembang, West Bandung, on Friday
June 13.

Sutanto was reluctant to mention the name or
initials of the new suspect. “Later. A rogue
individual basically. They are the one that did and
carried it out (the murder of Munir)”, he said.

Speaking separately, legal expert I Gde Panta Astawa
from the University of Padjadjaran in the West Java
provincial capital of Bandung said that the Munir
murder case is being dragged out. This is being done
intentionally by police because of a certain motive.
The motive, among other things, is that for the sake
of the national interest the police are not
revealing the mastermind behind Munir’s murder.

Whereas, said Panta Astawa, with the network and
methods at the police’s disposal, it would not be
difficult to expose Munir’s murderer. Right from the
start the police could have traced the brains behind
Munir’s murder, but this was not done he said.

Panta Astawa explained that the police are
intentionally and repeatedly delaying making a
disclosure with the aim that the public will forget
about Munir’s murder. At the same time the principle
actor remains safe.

However, he continued, it will be difficult for
these efforts to succeed because Munir was not just
a national figure. The whole world is well
acquainted with Munir so the public will not easily
forget the case.

Panta Astawa said that the key to successfully
cracking the Munir murder case is how daring the
police are. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has
already given them the green light. “It depends on
whether the police have the courage or not to expose
the case in an explicit manner,” he said. (MHF)


* From Kompas Cyber Media - June 13, 2008. Translated by James Balowski.

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