Tue, 08 Feb 2000

Bullet found at legislator office

JAKARTA (JP): A bullet was fired through the window of a legislator's office on the 16th floor of the House of Representatives/People's Consultative Assembly (DPR/MPR) building sometime over the weekend.

Office staffer Khairuddin found a 4.5 caliber bullet embedded in the ceiling and a broken window on Monday morning.

No one was hurt in the incident.

Until late on Monday evening, police still said that they had not yet received any official reports on the shooting at the office of legislator Suryadharma Ali from the United Development Party (PPP).

"We've received no official report on the case yet," Jakarta Police spokesman Lt. Col. Zainuri Lubis said on Monday night.

Suryadharma said the bullet might have killed him if he was sitting at his desk at the time the unidentified marksman fired.

"I could have been dead," he said, bursting into laughter. "But I hope that this is not a terror campaign."

The 20-story office block for the 500 DPR and 700 MPR members, located directly behind the dome-like DPR/MPR meeting hall on Jl. Gatot Subroto in Central Jakarta, is close to the Senayan shooting range, which opens on weekends.

It is unclear whether the bullet found in the legislator's office came from the Senayan shooting range. A source said, however, that a variety of caliber weapons, including 4.5s, are used by members and visitors to the shooting range.

Suryadharma's office faces the Senayan shooting range.

Judging from the shattered window and the damage to the ceiling, the bullet was probably fired from a low angle.

Suryadharma, a member of the commission on trade and industry affairs, immediately reported the case to the DPR/MPR authorities and local police.

He said he left his office on Friday for the weekend and returned to work at 8:30 a.m. on Monday.

He insisted he had made no enemies during his political career and could therefore name no suspects -- either individuals or organizations -- in the shooting of his office.

But, he said his party would take the matter seriously.

"It (the shooting) could have been meant as a warning, or possibly a terror campaign, since we are in the political arena."

"But, so far, I can not give any indications of suspects and their possible motives," Suryadharma said, urging the Jakarta security authorities to improve security for DPR/MPR members.

"What if the shooting took place on the street?" he asked.

A few days ago, another legislator from the PPP, Nashiruddin Daud, mysteriously disappeared in the North Sumatran capital of Medan. His dead body was later found in the resort town of Pancur Batu in the province.

Local police say they are still investigating the killing of Daud, an outspoken legislator and a member of the Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in Aceh. (03/bsr/ylt)