22 Feb 2018 00:02 am

Supporters of Slain Indonesian Rights Activist Munir Fail to Get BIN Files

5 Jan 2012 14:41 pm - Asep Saefullah

The Public Information Commission rejected a request from supporters of slain human rights activist Munir Said Thalib to access records from the State Intelligence Agency.

Munir’s widow, Suciwati, and the Committee of Action and Solidarity for Munir (Kasum) filed a request with the commission, known as the KIP, in May.

They had earlier failed to retrieve a copy of a letter they claimed was issued by the intelligence agency, known as BIN, assigning Garuda Indonesia pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto to be on the same flight as Munir in September 2004.

Munir died on board a flight to Amsterdam after Pollycarpus laced his drink with poison.

They also requested an alleged assignment letter for BIN deputy chairman Muchdi Purwoprandjono to fly to Malaysia around the time of Munir’s death.

Kasum alleges that both men had a role in the assassination. Pollycarpus has been convicted of poisoning Munir, but Muchdi was acquitted of charges of orchestrating the murder by the South Jakarta District Court in December 2008.

Public Information Commission chairman Ahmad Alamsyah Saragih said there were no such letters. “Indications that such letters existed come from court testimony but we cannot verify that they actually exist and BIN can’t show them either,” he said.

Kasum coordinator Choirul Anam said the group would lodge an appeal with the Jakarta State Administrative Court.

The KIP, he said, had based its decision solely on remarks from BIN officials without conducting an investigation. “[KIP officials] never actually saw the evidence themselves. This is far from the spirit of a fair trial,” he said.

But Choirul said the KIP ruling also showed there was no record that Muchdi had traveled to Malaysia between Sept. 6 and Sept. 12, 2004, as he had used as an alibi during his trial.

“Muchdi was acquitted by the court because he denied keeping in close contact with Pollycarpus by telephone just before Munir was killed. Muchdi said he was in Malaysia at the time so the KIP ruling would serve as crucial evidence,” he said.

Choirul said Kasum would challenge Muchdi’s acquittal but did not provide further details.

“We have found a loophole that we can use and all this time [Muchdi] has not noticed it,” he said. “Exactly what loophole we plan on using we cannot tell you. We don’t want [Muchdi] to know and anticipate our move.”

Munir, 38, was a prominent critic of the Indonesian security forces, which are blamed for the deaths and disappearances of scores of activists during the Suharto regime.

Muchdi was demoted as chief of the Army’s Kopassus special forces after Munir had divulged his alleged role in a number of kidnappings.
JakartaGlobe January 05, 2012