Garuda pair handed over to Indonesian attorney-general


Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 5

Indonesian police yesterday transferred two former Garuda airline executives accused of involvement in the murder of a top activist to the custody of the attorney-general, police said.

Munir Said Thalib was poisoned as he traveled from Indonesia to the Netherlands in September 2004. The only person jailed in connection with his death, a former Garuda pilot, had his conviction quashed last year.

The Garuda pair are suspected of "assisting or giving the opportunity to [the murder suspect] to carry out a crime with the intention of taking someone's life," national police spokesman Bambang Kuncoko told reporters.

Police submitted their dossiers on the two, Indra Setiawan and Rohainil Aini, who were arrested in April, to the attorney-general's office on Tuesday, Kuncoko said. Aini is also accused of falsifying documents.

According to the police, they should be charged by state prosecutors under the same article in the criminal code that covers premeditated murder, meaning they could face the death penalty.

State prosecutors are also seeking a judicial review in the case of Pollycarpus Priyanto, the pilot who was cleared by the Supreme Court of involvement in Munir's death.

Priyanto, who allegedly had links to Indonesia's powerful intelligence agency, was accused of traveling on forged documents -- he was on the same flight as Munir while off-duty -- and using arsenic to kill the activist.

Munir made several high-profile enemies through his campaigning during the rule of Indonesian dictator Suharto. He was 38 when he died on the flight operated by the Indonesian flag carrier.

The government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was elected on an anti-corruption platform, has come under increasing fire from activists.