Dian Kurniati and Khairunnisa, Jakarta – Suciwati, the wife of Munir Said Thalib, is urging President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to order the Attorney General to submit a judicial review of one of the prime suspects in Munir’s murder, Muchdi Purwoprandjono, who was declared not guilty in 2008.
Prominent human rights activist Munir was poisoned by arsenic during a Garuda Airways flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on September 7, 2004.
Suciwati beehives that Muchdi played a far bigger role in her husband’s assassination than Garuda Indonesia pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto who was convicted of the murder.
Suciwati suspects that the intellectual actors behind Munir’s assassination have yet to be touched by the law and will only be uncovered if there is a judicial review of the Muchdi case.
“Muchdi has already been brought to trial [but was released]. Pollycarpus was only the perpetrator, a small-fry we say, even though he was evil because he committed murder and was able to be quickly released [thanks to generous remissions], this is also odd. But we want to talk about the mastermind, the one we have to pursue is the mastermind. Because the person who ordered [the murder] held the power. Pollycarpus was just a pawn, right, he was just following orders”, said Suciwati during the commemoration of 15 years since Munir’s murder which took place at the Commission for Missing Persons and Victim of Violence (Kontras) offices on Friday September 6.
Suciwati explained that the powerful figure who is suspected of being the mastermind of her husband’s murder is former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief and Muchdi’s former superior, AM Hendropriyono.
According to Suciwati, Hendropriyono’s involvement must also be revealed because he was cited in the results of the investigation by the Munir Fact Finding Team (TPF) as person who probably took part in the evil plot to assassinate Munir. So far however, Hendropriyono has never been questioned over the case.
Publication of TPF report
Kontras Coordinator Yati Andriyani added that the results of the TPF’s 2005 investigation contain many facts which could be used initiate a new investigation to solve Munir’s assassination.
Aside from calling for the document to be opened to the public, Andriyani also said that all of the TPF’s recommendations must be implemented, including questioning the people suspected of being involved in the assassination.
According to Andriyani, Widodo could order Indonesian police chief (Kapolri) Tito Karnavian, Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo and Justice and Human Rights Minster (Menkumham) Yasonna Laoly to investigate the case.
If Widodo is still hesitant about doing this, Andriyani suggested that he summon all of the former members of the TPF, bearing in mind that several of the TPF members are now part of Widodo’s administration.
They include Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Indonesia’s Ambassador to Germany Arief Havas Oegroseno, Canadian Ambassador Abdul Kadir Jaelani and several investigators currently working with the Attorney General’s Office and the national police.
Meanwhile former TPF secretary and Amnesty International Indonesia Director Usman Hamid is also urging the government to resolve the Munir assassination.
Hamid says that the government must continue efforts to solve the Munir case which has not been solved by previous governments and in line with Widodo’s pledge to solve case of past human rights violations, including the Munir case.
A declaration such as this, continued Hamid, would create hope that there will be concrete progress in the case such as uncovering the mastermind behind Munir’s killing, even though to date there has been no real development.
“Even though in mid June, 2007 and in 2008 there was some progress, in the end [Muchdi] was released, this is actually what to this day we are still saying is the state’s responsibility. Not just the president but also the DPR [House of Representatives] and other state institutions to follow up the case until it is fully resolved”, added Hamid.
Although off-duty pilot Pollycarpus Priyanto was convicted of Munir’s murder in 2005 the alleged mastermind behind the assassination, former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy Muchdi Purwoprandjono, was later acquitted of all charges. Also implicated in the murder but never investigated was former BIN chief Hendropriyono. A close ally of Megawati Sukarnoputri – the chairperson of President Joko Widodo’s ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) – according to US diplomatic cables leaked in 2011 Hendropriyono was involved in the planning of Munir’s murder.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Cari Keadilan, Istri Munir Desak Kejagung Ajukan PK atas Bebasnya Muchdi PR”.]