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Anti-drugs tsar picked to head Indonesia police JAKARTA - Indonesia's top anti-narcotics policeman, who also has also played a prominent role in several terrorism cases, has been chosen to head the national police force, the president said on Monday. Commissioner General Sutanto, a long-time confidant of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has led the anti-narcotics agency since February 2005.

He made headlines for a string of busts, including the April arrest of nine Australian men alleged to be part of a heroin smuggling ring centred on the resort island of Bali. Yudhoyono, a former army general who took the presidency last year, told reporters he has asked parliament to approve his nominee as soon as possible. Parliament is unlikely to reject the nomination.

Current national police chief Da'i Bachtiar has led the force since 2001, winning praise for taking a tough stance against the Jemaah Islamiah militant network blamed for a string of deadly bombings, including the 2002 Bali blasts that killed 202 people. During his watch, police arrested dozens of militants involved in those attacks and allowed room for foreign countries, including the United States to support the war on terror in the world's most populous Muslim nation, despite objections from nationalist and Islamic groups.

When he led police in East Java province, Sutanto dealt with the deadly 2000 Christmas Eve bombings of several churches. A few months before that, he handled a string of church bombing cases in North Sumatra province. Online news portal detik.com reported Bachtiar might become Indonesia's ambassador for Australia, which lost 88 nationals in the Bali blasts, topping the list of victims by nationality.



Posted in General @ 27 June 2005 14:36 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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