Tue, 30 May 2000

Arms case defendant blames hotel staff

JAKARTA (JP): Haryogi M. Maulani, a defendant in a case involving alleged illegal firearms possession, testified before the West Jakarta District Court on Monday that a staff of a West Jakarta hotel sneaked into his room while he was asleep on the evening of Feb. 15.

While he had yet to confirm the ownership of an AK-47 rifle and a handgun, Haryogi apparently tried to blame it on the staff.

"I fell asleep on the sofa and neither heard nor saw anyone entering my room. They were not invited," he told a hearing, presided over by judge Sri Handojo.

Haryogi, a son of former State Intelligence Coordinating Body (Bakin) chief Lt. Gen. (ret) Zaini Azhar Maulani, also rejected testimony from witness Dadang Setyohadi -- hotel staff -- that he had a gun magazine in the room.

Earlier, Dadang testified that he received orders from staff to tidy up the room.

"The guest at the room had reportedly intended to check out. So I went to the room," said Dadang, a housekeeping supervisor at the hotel.

Dadang denied that he entered the room without Haryogi's permission.

He said that he saw an unloaded AK-47 rifle on the floor.

"I picked it up and placed it on top of the fridge. At that time, I saw pak Haryogi taking a magazine from the rifle out of a big bag," he said.

As he completed his task, Dadang said he rushed to report his findings to Roy Kurniawan, a deputy security chief at the hotel around 11:45 p.m.

Haryogi rejected Dadang's statement that he opened the door for Dadang and took the magazine of the rifle out of his bag.

"I was asleep at that time, therefore I never saw the witness and never opened the room's door for him," he said.

"I also never brought the magazine to the hotel."

Another witness, Roy Kurniawan, said he reported the incident at Tamansari Police Precinct after receiving the information from Dadang.

"Three people, led by First. Lt. Samuel Tobing came to the hotel around 12.30 a.m. on Feb. 16, and began to search the defendant," he said.

Roy said the defendant had left his room as the police and the hotel's security staff began searching it.

"Several minutes later, we arrested him in the hotel lobby, finding a loaded 7.65-caliber Colt Walther handgun which was strapped to the defendant's left leg," he said.

Roy said the AK-47 rifle was finally found at the hotel's park after receiving information from a parking attendant.

In the previous hearing, three witnesses, including two police officers, gave testimonies which implicated the defendant.

"The defendant admitted that he was the owner of the firearms during the police raid in a hotel in West Jakarta last February," said First. Lt. Samuel Tobing, chief of police detectives at the Taman Sari police subprecinct in West Jakarta.

Samuel said the 37-year-old defendant once tried to convince the police officers that he possessed the firearms legally.

"The defendant said he was a Bakin member, showing us the copy of a license stipulating that he possessed the firearms legally," he said.

Samuel said the police then urged him to show them his official identity with the corps.

"He later admitted that he was not a member," he said.

Judge Sri Handojo adjourned the hearing until next week to hear testimonies from other witnesses.

Last Monday, witnesses testified that Haryogi was the owner of the firearms.

Three witnesses, including two police officers, told a hearing at the same court in support of the prosecutor's accusation that Haryogi owned the loaded Colt Walther handgun and the AK-47 rifle.

"The defendant admitted during a police raid in a hotel in West Jakarta last February that the firearms were his," chief of detectives of West Jakarta's Taman Sari Police First Lt. Samuel Tobing said. (asa)