INDONESIA: Munir murder commission call


Indonesian non-government organisations say that the investigation into the assassination of Indonesia's foremost human rights defender Munir, who died on September 6, 2004, has reached a dead end. The NGOs, including the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Indonesian Environment Forum, the Independent Journalist Association and the Institute for Public Research and Advocacy, are calling on the government to form an independent committee to follow up the findings of the defunct Munir Fact Finding Team (TPF). "An independent team like the Corruption Eradication Team" is needed, Kontras's Usman Hamid told on September 4. Hamid said that with new and broader powers the team could force the police to complete the investigation. "We want an audit of the police who were involved in the investigation." Brigadier General Marsudi Hanafi, who headed up the TPF, was later assigned to head the police investigation but then shifted to a non-portfolio job, essentially putting an end to the investigation. Munir died of arsenic poisoning aboard a Garuda Airlines flight hours en route to Amsterdam. Former Garuda pilot Pollycarpus Priyanto, who repeatedly claimed to have been recruited by National Intelligence Agence (BIN) in 2002, was convicted and jailed for the murder in December despite a TPF report finding that Munir was the victim of a plot involving BIN.