Indra Subagja, Jakarta – Former Garuda executive director Indra Setiawan’s attorney has confirmed that his client issued an instruction to Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto to be on duty on the aircraft carrying human rights activist Munir after receiving a letter from the National Intelligence Agency (BIN).
According to an admission by Setiawan, he gave the “letter of recommendation” from BIN directly to Pollycarpus. “PC handed the letter over directly to Indra at the Sahid (Hotel), sometime in July. This is based on an admission by Indra in the police interrogation report”, said Setiawan’s lawyer Antawirya J Dipodiputra, when speaking in Jakarta on Friday August 10.
According to Antawirya a high-ranking BIN official signed the letter. “So Pak Indra was unable to refuse. The letter had a BIN letter head and (the initials of BIN official – Ed.) AS who signed it. In the letter it itemised the reasons for the assignment. At the bottom of the letter it also listed CCs to a number of parties such as the minister for state owned enterprises”, said Antawirya.
One of the reasons for the assignment was to ensure flight security. Setiawan received the letter because it was sent officially by a government agency. “It was a sensitive time then because of the Bali bombing right. Moreover the letter did not have an order to commit murder. It only referred to general issues so there isn’t a problem”, he added.
Why however was Pollycarpus asked to carry out the assignment? “I don’t know the reasons for that, but informally Polly[carpus] was often given duties as a corporate security officer at Garuda, although in formally terms only after the letter was issued”, said Antawirya.
Antawirya went on to explain that Pollycarpus was indeed considered to be a capable individual because he was often given the task of a mediator when Garuda had problems, particularly with its employees. “He was once a mediator during a noisy pilot’s strike”, he said.
Why did the meeting between Pollycarpus and Setiawan to hand the letter over take place at the Sahid Hotel, whereas it was an official office assignment? “Pak Indra usually met his guests and colleagues at the Sahid. Just ask, all of the people at the Sahid know him. Moreover the letter was top secret from an official agency right”, added Antawirya.
Meanwhile when Detik.com sought confirmation, Pollycarpus’ attorney M Assegaf said that they would be writing to BIN to enquire about Setiawan’s claims. According to Assegaf, it makes no sense for BIN to have issued a letter linked with an attempt to murder Munir.
“Pak Indra’s information makes suspicions of the involvement of people from BIN even stronger. It makes no sense for BIN to openly issue a letter to carry out a conspiracy to murder. Because in its actions, intelligence is usually a ‘silent operation’”, explained Assegaf.
Assegaf said that it is extremely important to obtain information from BIN because the written request (to fly to Singapore as an assistant staff member in corporate security) from As’ad was also included in a judicial review statement on behalf of his client Pollycarpus.
“Indra Setiawan’s information is that Polly’s assignment was because of a written request from As’ad. This is in Indra’s interrogation report that was also included in the judicial review statement on behalf of Polly”, said Assegaf (ndr/nrl)
In a separate report by Detik.com on the start of the judicial review, Assegaf explained that the original letter from As’ad disappeared along with Setiawan’s bag in late December 2004.
[Translated by James Balowski.]