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 Former Garuda Indonesia pilot jailed for activist’s murder JAKARTA - Indonesia’s supreme court has sentenced a former Garuda Indonesia airline pilot to 20 years in prison for the 'politically' motivated murder of one of the country’s leading human rights activist, it was announced on Friday. A court spokesman said the judges found Pollycarpus Priyanto killed Munir Thalib by poisoning his drink at Singapore’s Changi airport on September 7, 2004 while they chatted during a stopover of Munir’s flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam.

Pollycarpus, whom prosecutors have linked to the state intelligence agency, was sentenced to 14 years for the crime in 2005 but freed on appeal the following year. The court spokesman said the latest ruling came following a judicial review after prosecutors presented new evidence detailing events at Changi. Munir’s killing and the murky investigation that followed have been held up as examples of the continuing power that elites linked to the 32-year rule of President Suharto, the former strongman, still have in Indonesia.

The case has also been a thorn in the side of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, with foreign governments raising it repeatedly and activists accusing him of fostering impunity within the upper echelons of government. Last month the US Congress withheld $2.7m in military aid unless Jakarta set a deadline for completing the criminal investigation. Suciwati, Munir’s widow said the 20-year sentence was'“too light in the circumstances”. 'She also said the case was far from over.

“It’s as if we’ve just put the key in a door,” she told on Friday. “We now need to see it unlocked and opened. This should be easy if the authorities have sufficient political will. But if this case stops with Pollycarpus we can say that impunity still reigns in Indonesia.” Muhammad Assegaf, Pollycarpus’s lawyer, said he was “surprised” by the verdict and would seek every legal means to have it overturned despite it being final.


Related blog entries (category 'Garuda Indonesia') Related blog entries (category 'Garuda Indonesia'):
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01 November 2006 · PLN signs deal on 1,200 MW power plant
22 October 2006 · Son of Suharto released from Indonesian jail early
09 October 2006 · Rights advocates deplore murder acquittal in Indonesia
09 October 2006 · Indonesia moves to lengthen jail terms
05 October 2006 · Pilot acquitted in activist murder
20 December 2005 · Indonesia pilot jailed for murder of activist
01 December 2005 · Prosecutor demands life sentence in Munir case
08 September 2005 · A year later, Munir’s killers evade justice


Posted in Garuda Indonesia @ 25 January 2008 14:38 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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