Mon, 06 Mar 2000

Armed men attack Matori

JAKARTA (JP): South Jakarta Police detectives are searching for one of the two suspects in the Sunday morning attack on National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman Matori Abdul Djalil at his residence in the Tanjung Mas Raya housing complex.

South Jakarta Police chief of detectives Maj. Rycko Amelza Daniel said on Sunday they had found a lead in the attack and were tracking down the suspect.

"We more or less have the key to solving this case ... we are combing the streets. Just wait," Rycko told reporters.

The suspects used a black Yamaha RX-King motorcycle, license number B 5013 PZ.

A city police source said the owner of the motorcycle's documents was a man identified as Arjun.

"I cannot say who committed the crime. What I can tell you is that the name on the STNK (motorcycle documents) is Arjun," the source told The Jakarta Post.

South Jakarta Police chief Col. Nono Suprijono said on Sunday morning Matori was hit by a machete on the back of his head and on his right arm (when he tried to resist).

"We're trying to locate that machete. We've confiscated an FN- 46 gun, two bullets and the clothes of the dead suspect, who wore dark blue training pants, a cream shirt and Keds shoes, as evidence. The gun was never used in the shooting," Nono told reporters at the crime scene.

National Police chief Lt. Gen. Rusdihardjo said he suspected the case was politically motivated.

"It's not a simple crime. It might have political motives. We're still investigating the case," Rusdihardjo told reporters at Pasar Rebo Hospital in East Jakarta where Matori was treated.

"I suspect the attack was premeditated as Pak Matori had received at least two phone threats."

Rusdihardjo said the attackers stayed overnight near Matori's house before entering the house in the morning.

One of the suspects, who allegedly struck the victim with the machete and tried to escape, was mobbed to death by ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers and passersby in front of the Jagakarsa Economic College on Jl. TB Simatupang.

Another suspect, who ran toward Jagakarsa, got away scot-free. Nono added that both suspects remained unidentified.

Police confiscated a black bag that fell from the hands of the main suspect, who dropped it in a hurry when he was trying to escape following the attack.

It contained a small version of the Koran, brochures on air- conditioners and furniture, a green T-shirt and a beeper.

Five construction workers were working on a section of Matori's house -- the guest and living room areas -- when the incident happened at the victim's home on Jl. Elang Mas II, Block C No. 12, of the Tanjung Mas Raya housing complex.

The workers were identified as Agus, Nur, Joko, Makmur and Herman.

Agus said that one man, wearing a white T-shirt, dark blue training pants and Keds running shoes, entered the house at about 8:30 a.m. from a back door of the living room area, which was being renovated.

"He started offering Pak Matori, who was still in his sarong and a shirt, some interior design brochures. Suddenly we heard him screaming and saw the blood on his head. We ran after the man," Agus said.

When the suspect ran out through the living room's back door, he immediately got on the RX-King motorcycle, where his friend was standing by.

Tatang, a security officer of the housing complex, said the two on the RX-King were speeding toward the Gg. Bacang alley, very near the Al-Hikmah Mosque.

"Due to its speed, the motorcycle swerved and fell over at Gg. Bacang. The main suspect was still holding the machete. When hundreds of residents surrounded them, one of the suspects took out a gun and shot twice into the air," Tatang said.

"The crowds dispersed. The two ran, held up a passing ojek and got on the vehicle, which was driven by the terrified driver, Nardi."

Rycko added that upon reaching Jl. Rancho Indah, the two suspects got off the ojek and onto the S15 angkot public van, which serves the Pasar Rebo-Pasar Minggu route.

"Nardi, who was very mad, screamed for help when the two suspects got on the angkot. Nearby ojek drivers chased the angkot until they reached the turning under the TB Simatupang toll road. The angkot had to stop at traffic lights," Rycko said.

"Both suspects got of the van. One suspect ran toward Jagakarsa and was gone. Another, who passed under the TB Simatupang toll road and was trying to head for Pasar Minggu, was mobbed to death."

The hospital's director, Umar Wahid, said Matori was in good condition.

"He's okay after suffering injuries from a sharp weapon," Umar, who is also a younger brother of President Abdurrahman Wahid, said.

Among the figures visiting Matori at the hospital were President Abdurrahman, Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri and her husband Taufik Kiemas and Minister of Foreign Affairs Alwi Shihab.

President Abdurrahman urged the police to find the mastermind behind the attack.

"We'd better not make any prejudicial statements. It might have a political or even private motive," Abdurrahman said.

He agreed to proposals that police should increase their protection of high-ranking officials, including the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker and deputy speaker.

PKB legislator A. Effendy Choirie did not deny that the case might have had a political motive.

"PKB will set up a fact finding team to help the police solve the case," Effendy said. (jun/ylt)