11/12/2004 19:50
Human rights activist poisoned

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Alì Munir, one of Indonesia best known human rights activists, might have been poisoned, this according to his family after the autopsy report indicated the presence “of levels or arsenic and metals higher than normal”. It was unclear how they entered his body. Mr Munir died on a Garuda flight from Amsterdam.   

“Now that I know that he was poisoned,” said Suciwati, Mr Munir’s wife, “I want an enquiry.” The police said they would open an investigation to determine whether the 38-year-old was murdered or not.

Mr Munir at the end of the 1990s founded the Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of Violence to denounce the death of civilians in “extrajudicial killings”. He was prominent in the campaign against the role of the Indonesian military in repressions, especially in East Timor. In 1999 he was appointed to a United Nations Commission of Inquiry charged with investigating human rights violations on the island.

“This is no ordinary crime,” said Todung Mulya Lubis, a human rights attorney, who demanded that “independent public figures” be part of the commission of inquiry.

“From the beginning,” said Usman Hamid of Kontras, “we suspected that his death was not natural, that he was poisoned, because when he left for the Netherlands he was in good health.” (FP)


 08/24/2007 14:45
Secret services involved in activist Munir’s death
by Mathias Hariyadi
Indonesia’s Attorney General Office has formally requested the reopening of the case involving the death in 2004 of Indonesian human rights activist Munir. An audiotape seems to implicate the secret services who however deny the charges.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A new probe into the death of Munir Said Thalib, a human rights activist who died on a Garuda flight in 2004, might be launched now that suspicions have fallen on officials from Indonesia’s intelligence agency, Badan Intelligent Negara (BIN).

The country’s Attorney General Office has officially requested the case be re-opened in light of new evidence and witnesses, including Indra Setiawan, a former president of the Garuda airline company, and Raden Muhammad Patma Anwar, alias Ucok, a former secret agent.

Munir was a controversial figure for his harsh criticism of Indonesian involvement in East Timor when he was poisoned on September 7, 2004, on a flight to the Netherlands. Traces of arsenic were found in his body and in a glass of orange juice he drank on the plane.

At the end of 2005, pilot Pollycarpus Priyanto, who was on board of the plane but non in service, was handed down a 14-year sentence for premeditated murder. Last year however the Supreme Court acquitted him of all charges and he was released.

The new evidence that has come out consists of a taped conversation, purportedly between Pollycarpus and Indra. The latter is heard expressing concern for a letter that BIN Deputy Chief M. As’ad sent him asking him to transfer the pilot to Garuda’s internal security.

A copy of the letter was also sent to the Ministry of State Enterprises, but Pollycarpus is heard telling Indra that the letter had been made to “disappear” and assured him that “everyone is a friend”.

BIN Chief Syamsir Siregar rejected claims that any of his subordinates were involved in the Munir murder case.

“Let the trial go on and find the real murderer,” he said.



04/16/2007 17:04
Munir murder: ex Garuda chairman arrested
Following the acquittal in appeal of the only person condemned in the case, police arrest two other suspects, a former airline company president and an executive secretary. Investigation is now focusing on fake papers.

 01/26/2008 13:01
The Munir case is closed: 20 years for the former Garuda airline pilot
by Mathias Hariyadi
Pollycarpus Priyanto was the only person charged in the poisoning of the well-known Indonesian activist Munir, who was killed in 2004. One year ago, Privanto was cleared of the charges against him, but last summer the case was reopened on the basis of new evidence that also pointed toward the secret service.


10/05/2006 13:34
Pilot condemned for Munir murder soon to walk free
The Supreme Court absolved Pollycarpus Priyant of the charge of poisoning the renowned Indonesian activist in 2004. His sentence has been slashed from 14 to two years’ imprisonment and he may be free by March. The credibility of Indonesia’s justice system is wavering.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Indonesian Supreme Court has closed its long investigation into the murder of well-known human rights activist Munir Thalib. Overturning an earlier sentence, the judges definitively condemned to 20 years in prison the former pilot for the Garuda airline, Pollycarpus Priyanto, found guilty of poisoning Munir while he was travelling between Jakarta and Singapore in 2004.

Munir was an unsettling person in Indonesia: he had denounced the military involvement in the repression in East Timor, and in 1999 he was appointed to a UN investigation committee on the violation of human rights in the former Portuguese colony occupied by Jakarta.

In recent years, the case was very closely followed by the Indonesian and international press. After the reading of his guilty sentence, Pollycarpus said that he was a “scapegoat”, the victim of a “media campaign” mounted against him. Pollycarpus, a Catholic who lived between Papua and East Timor, continues to deny the accusations.

In December of 2005, the district tribunal of central Jakarta had sentenced the pilot to 14 years in prison, for the commission of the crime and for “falsification of documents”. But in 2006, Jakarta’s high court ruled that there was not sufficient proof to demonstrate responsibility in the assassination, while confirming the two-year prison sentence for the falsification of documents. This sentence was later reaffirmed by the Supreme Court as well. Then, in July of 2007, Jakarta’s procurator general reopened the case on the basis of new evidence and witnesses, including the former president of the airline, Indra Setiawan, and an agent of the national intelligence service, Raden Muhammad Patma Anwar. There are many activists who continue to point to the Indonesian secret service as the real culprits behind the assassination.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The airline pilot condemned for the murder of renowned human rights campaigner, Munir Thalib, could be free by next March. Yesterday, the Supreme Court cut the ongoing 14-year jail term of Pollycarpus Priyanto to two years. The judges absolved him of the charge of poisoning food served to Munir. The food contained a lethal quantity of arsenic. The incident took place on 7 September 2004 on a flight of the Indonesian airlines company Garuda.

In December 2005, Central Jakarta’s District Court sentenced the pilot to 14 years imprisonment for carrying out the crime and for “falsification of documents”. The Supreme Court established that there was insufficient proof of responsibility for the murder but upheld the two-year sentence for falsification of documents. The Garuda pilot, who has been in prison since March 2005, could be free within months.

The Supreme Court decision has drawn strong criticism from human rights organisations that are wondering whether “Justice in Indonesia can still be trusted”. As for the political authorities and police leaders, they have given their assurance that investigations into the case will go ahead. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has promised Munir’s widow, Suciwati, that the government would find and try all those responsible for the murder.

Munir, who openly supported democracy, often spoke out against the Indonesian army. He had denounced military involvement in the repression in East Timor and in 1999, he was appointed as a member on the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses that took place in the ex-Portuguese colony.


Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Almost three years since the murder of Munir Thalib, a leading Indonesian human rights activist who died from arsenic poisoning on a Jakarta-Amsterdam flight, two new suspects were arrested last Saturday. They are former Garuda Chairman Indra Setiawan and the state carrier’s former Executive Secretary Rohainil Aini.

His assassination is closely related to his activities. Munir made powerful enemies as a result of his campaigns against the rule of Indonesian dictator Suharto and human rights violations by the Indonesian military during East Timor’s 1999 vote for independence from Indonesia.

He was poisoned on September 7, 2004, when he drank some orange juice laced with arsenic on board of a Garuda flight to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. Dutch investigators found traces of the deadly substance in his body.

Until now pilot Pollycarpus Priyanto was the only suspect. The Garuda pilot was jailed for 14 years in late 2005 for the murder, a decision overturned by the Indonesian Supreme Court last year. After only a few months in jail he was released.

Although Pollycarpus was not on service on that day, he was on board of that fateful flight, and gave up his business seat to Munir.

Indonesian police are investigating any links Indra and Rohainil might have to Pollycarpus’ fake papers.

Lawyers for Garuda contend that at present there is no evidence about their clients’ guilt.

Human rights groups accuse Indonesian authorities of trying to hide the truth, speculating that Indonesian intelligence might be involved.


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