Saturday, May 19, 2007

Police, AGO push for Munir review

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has said it will use the dissenting opinion from the Supreme Court's ruling on human rights activist Munir Said Thalib's murder case to push for a case review.

The AGO claims this would also be advantageous for police efforts to present new evidence that would help in filing a case review.

The Supreme Court acquitted Garuda Indonesia off-duty pilot Pollycarpus Budiono Priyanto of Munir's murder due to a lack of evidence.

"There are three possibilities for filing a case review, but we have chosen the third possibility and we are enhancing the third construction with new evidence," Attorney General Hendarman Supandji told reporters Monday without elaborating on the possibilities.

Recently, police announced the emergence of new evidence, including a new key witness named Ongen Latuihamallo, which could lead to Pollycarpus sitting before the Supreme Court once again.

The police are still investigating two other suspects in the case, namely former Garuda Indonesia president director Indra Setiawan and Rohainil Aini, the secretary to Garuda's chief pilot.

Munir died from poisoning in September 2004 during a trip from Jakarta to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on a Garuda flight. The results of an autopsy conducted by Dutch forensic experts on Oct. 13, 2004, showed that Munir's death was the result of an excessive amount of arsenic in his system.

Hendarman said he had asked the junior attorney general for general crime to coordinate with the National Police to strengthen the third construction with new evidence.

"Some witnesses have yet to be questioned, but I have asked them to be questioned before the end of the month," he said.

Meanwhile, National Police chief Gen. Sutanto said police would make every effort possible to aid the Attorney General's Office in reviewing the Munir murder case.

Sutanto told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of police chiefs from Java and Bali that police would carry out intensive investigations by questioning a number of witnesses, including officials from the State Intelligent Agency.

"Nobody is above the law. Anyone suspected of involvement in the murder of Munir will be questioned," he was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

Sutanto said, however, that police would not disclose details of their investigation so as not to compromise the on-going overall investigation.

Dismissing accusations from various quarters that the results of the police investigation into the Munir case have so far been fabrications, Sutanto said police would continue with their efforts to solve the case without responding to such allegations. (02)

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