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Wiranto: 'Abduction of activists Prabowo`s personal initiative' JAKARTA - Former defense minister and commander of the then Indonesian armed forces, retired General Wiranto, stated here on Thursday that the kidnapping of activists in 1998 was the personal initiative of Prabowo Subianto. Prabowo, then commander of the armys special Kopassus forces, had taken the initiative and had personally admitted it, Wiranto said.

"I remember when I asked in person the then lieutenant general Prabowo on who had given him the order (to abduct the activists), he admitted that it was not the order of the armed forces commander but his own initiative taken based on his analysis of the situation then," he said.

Wiranto said that the issue had also been reported by national newspaper Kompas on August 9, 1998. The issue had become a hot button issue following Prabowos participation in the presidential election scheduled on July 9.

Wiranto said when the abduction happened between mid-December 1997 and February 1998, the commander of ABRI (armed forces) was (the late) General Feisal Tanjung.

Wiranto pointed out that when the case was unveiled around March 1998, he had just then taken over the post of ABRI commander from General Feisal Tanjung. So, he could not comprehend why Prabowo (during a presidential debate recently) had asked the public to clarify the issue with his superior.

"It must be understood that the policy of the then ABRI commander to deal with activists and demonstrators were persuasion, dialog, and communication, while at the same time avoiding violent or repressive methods. So, abduction was clearly against the policy of the leadership then," he said.

Regarding accusations that he was involved in the Trisakti student shooting case, May riots, and abduction of activists in 1998, he explained that certain quarters had been involved in the series of incidents and were responsible.

Some acted as perpetrators while others acted to prevent, investigate, and punish the perpetrators, he said. "As an ABRI commander then, naturally I was not involved as a perpetrator but as those who prevented such incidents from happening," he said.

He said if he had been the perpetrator of the incidents, Indonesia certainly will have been totally ruined, and if he had ordered the shooting at the Trisakti University in 1998, the victims will have been in the hundreds.

"The fact is that I have investigated the Trisakti shooting incident and have punished the perpetrators. The nationwide rioting then was also neutralized within two days, and with regard to the case of abduction, it is clear that it was I who prevented it through dialog, persuasion, and communication," he said.

Prabowo Subianto, with former economic minister of current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonos cabinet as his running mate, will meet Jakarta Governor Joko Widor (Jokowi) who has paired with former vice president Jusuf Kalla in the upcoming election.


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Related blog entries (category 'History') Tags: Prabowo, activist, abduction, accusation, Wiranto, 1998


Posted in History @ 19 June 2014 18:27 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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