Courts incapable of uncovering Munir’s murderer: Kontras

Source – December 19, 2005
Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid (BBC)
Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid (BBC)

Muchus Budi R., Jakarta – Pollycarpus, the defendant in the murder case of human rights defender Munir will soon be sentenced. The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) however, is pessimistic that the courts will be able to take further action to find and try the brains behind the murder. Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid believes that there are a number of games that are hindering plans to uncover the case.

“No matter what sentence Polly[carpus] receives, I am pessimistic that the courts can uncover the mastermind of Munir’s murder. There are many indications that are making the investigation of this case hard to reveal. There are forces that are arranging things in order that the case goes back to scratch”, Hamid told journalists in Solo, Central Java, on Monday December 19.

The various indications referred to by Hamid that are a part of this game include the disbanding of the Munir case investigation team by national police headquarters. The head of the team, Brigadier General Marsudi Hanafi furthermore, as been given the post of an expert staff member to the head of the national police. This position he says, automatically ended the investigation despite the fact that there were still much that need to be developed in the investigation of the case.

Other indications are the many important witnesses that were recommended by the Fact Finding Team on which Hamid himself sat that were not followed up and were unable to be presented in Pollycarpus’ trial, for example witnesses that knew the defendant had been involved in intelligence activities. Likewise, the Dutch citizen that sat beside Munir on the flight on which he was poisoned.

“This still doesn’t include the looming defamation complaint that was thrown up by former BIN [National Intelligence Agency] director AM Hendropriyono who reported me and Rachland Nashidik from Imparsial”, he said.

According to Hamid, under such conditions the only remaining hope hangs on the will of the president. Hamid said that the Indonesian people have to right to call on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s to fulfil his promise when he stated that the solving the Munir case is one of his debts to the Indonesian people.

“The president must demonstrate the strongest commitment to investigating this case by forming a new investigation team that has stronger and wider powers. Also needed is intense support and pressure from the political parties because to date I still see that the political parties are only using human rights cases in so far as they are a political commodity”, he continued. (jon)

[Translated by James Balowski.]