Jakarta – Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (KASUM) General Secretary Bivitri Susanti believes that the 'Bjorka' hacking case is a reminder to the government to fully resolve the assassination of renowned human rights activist Munir Said Thalib.
Susanti said that what was revealed by Bjorka is in line with the findings of the Munir case Fact Finding Team (TPF) report. In their writings, Bjorka spelt out the chronology of the case and the names of those involved in Munir's murder.
Bjorka cites the names of former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Deputy Chief Muchdi Purwopranjono, who now holds the position of General Chairperson with the Berkarya Party (established by Tommy Suharto), former Garuda Indonesia Airlines pilot the late Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, former Garuda Indonesia Executive Director Indra Setiawan and former BIN chief AM Hendropriyono.
Although Priyanto and Setiawan were both tried and sentenced to prison terms over the murder, a court found Purwopranjono not guilty and released him from all charges, and Hendropriyono has yet to be questioned or investigated.
"It has been years and the case has not been followed up by the state, in particular law enforcement officials. Bjorka has reminded [us] of the legal facts to fully resolve the Munir case", said Susanti at the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) office in Central Jakarta on Tuesday September 13.
Aside from citing the names of those involved, the other similarity with the TPF's findings revealed by Bjorka was the communication between the perpetrators prior to and after Munir's murder. Based on the TPF's records, Purwopranjono and Priyanto communicated with each other as many as 35 times.
Moreover, said Susanti, this finding was reinforced in the considerations by the panel of judges and included in the Trial Facts in the Verdict on Criminal Case Number 1361/PID.B/2005/PN.JKT.PST in the name of the defendant Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, namely that Purwopranjono and Priyanto spoke with each other on no less than 41 occasions.
Susanti noted that Purwopranjono had once been declared a suspect in the case and was detained and tried by the South Jakarta District Court, but that the court released Purwopranjono on all charges (Verdict Number 1448/Pid.B/2008/PN.JKT.SEL).
"KASUM believes that verdict totally failed to consider the legal facts which emerged during the trials of Muchdi PR, Indra Setiawan and Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto", she said.
Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Director Arif Maulana meanwhile believes that the Bjorka hacking is a reminder that Munir's assassination involved state institutions.
"The actors, public officials at the time, were involved in the tragic death of Cak [Brother] Munir 18 years ago, on September 7, 2004 on the journey from Jakarta to the Netherlands", he said. "It must be noted that the State Intelligence Agency was behind Cak Munir's death", he said.
KASUM member Fatia Maulidiyanti believes that the move by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to form a special team (timsus) to track down the hacker Bjorka is inappropriate.
Maulidiyanti is of the view that it would be better for Widodo to form a special team to solve the Munir case, because after 18 years the mastermind behind the murder is still unknown and the investigation process has been slow.
Bjorka not only hacked several government institutions but also raised several crucial issues and cases. In one posting Bjorka wrote "Who Killed Munir" and revealed the chronology of the case and several people involved in the activist's murder.
"Actually, in this case Jokowi should not form a team to hunt down Bjorka, but Jokowi should instead form a team to find out where the TPF documents are and immediately resolved [the case]", said Maulidiyanti at the Kontras' offices.
The Kontras coordinator also believes that Widodo should be ashamed that the case has in fact been reopened by a hacker, rather than the government. She also cited many issues which have yet to be resolved by the government.
Maulidiyanti said that the government could push the Attorney General or the police to conduct a review of the Munir case.
In addition to this, the government could try and find the TPF documents on the Munir case which the government has declared lost. In this way, she said, the Munir case could be reopened and his killers punished.
"So that his case can be reopened and Muchdi questioned again as one of the witnesses", said Maulidiyanti.
On September 7 this year the Munir case turned 18-years-old. The case has now expired because based on Article 78 Paragraph (1) Point 3 of the Criminal Code (KUHP), the statute of limitations on investigating a case which is subject to the death penalty or life imprisonment, such as premeditated murder, is 18 years.
Meanwhile if the case is declared to be a gross human rights violation, the case will not expire and an investigation and prosecution can be conducted in accordance with the mechanisms of Law Number 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts.
The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has recently formed an ad hoc investigation team to determine if the case is a gross human rights violation. (yla/isn)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KASUM: Aksi Bjorka Ingatkan Negara untuk Tuntaskan Kasus Munir".]