Sania Mashabi, Jakarta – The wife of renowned human rights activist Munir Said Thalib, Suciwati, says that there has been serious neglect in the handling of her husband's murder case.
This, she said, can be seen from the attitude of the president who has instead given government posts to those suspected of being Munir's killers.
"So there has been neglect over this serious crime in the criminal conspiracy of the Munir case, in this case the perpetrators have been allowed to go free without a fair judicial process", said Suciwati during a virtual discussion on Tuesday March 16.
"And they have even become his trusted people. This is something which is clear and in plain view in the Munir cases", she said.
Suciwati did not specifically cite the figures alleged to be involved in the criminal conspiracy to kill Munir who have been promoted to government positions.
She did however cite several officials who are alleged to be involved in past cases of human rights violations, one of which was Wiranto.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo appointed Wiranto as the Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal affairs during the period 2014-2019. Wiranto is alleged of being involved in cases of gross human rights violations in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Then she also cited former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief AM Hendropriyono (see notes) who was appointed as an advisor to newly elected President Widodo. Hendropriyono was allegedly involved in human rights violations in Talangsari, Lampung, in 1989.
Because of this Suciwati feels that it's futile to trust the current government. She did not even attend an invitation to meet with President Widodo.
Suciwati felt there was no use in meeting with him because in the end there has been no point of agreement on resolving cases of past gross human rights volitions.
She also sees the voices of the victims of gross human rights violations which the government does not listen to as being a form of negligence.
"Indeed right from the start I didn't trust him, indeed when we saw how it was with his earlier promises, there was Nawa Cita [Widodo's nine point program], he met with friends at Thursday actions [in front of the State Palace]", said Suciwati.
Munir was murdered on a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on September 7, 2004, two hours before the plane was due to land at Schipol Airperon at 08.10 am local time.
The autopsy results by the Dutch and Indonesian police found that Munir had died of arsenic poisoning. Indonesian police declared former Garuda Indonesia airlines pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto as a suspect for the murder on March 18, 2005.
In investigating the case the police also questioned a number of other people from Garuda Indonesia and BIN. The two institutions were seen as being involved in Munir's murder and several were declared as suspects and tried in court.
Out of the several defendants however, only two were ever convicted and sentence for the murder – Priyanto and former Garuda Executive Director Indra Setiawan.
The mastermind behind the case remains a mystery to this day and the report by the Fact Finding Team (TPF) established by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has never been publically released.
The original article incorrectly cited Hendropriyono as being the head of BIN under Widodo's administration when in fact he headed the agency during the administration of Widodo's predecessor Yudhoyono.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Suciwati: Ada Pengabaian yang Serius dalam Kasus Pembunuhan Munir".]