Fri, 16 Jun 2000

District Court hears first trial on Matori

JAKARTA (JP): The South Jakarta District Court commenced on Wednesday the trial of a man alleged to have been involved in the attempted murder of National Awakening Party chairman Matori Abdul Djalil last March.

Prosecutor Abdul Kamar Badrun told the court he would present at least 20 witnesses who would testify in connection with the case, and defendant Achmad Tazul Arifin, alias Sabar, 33.

Police say that Sabar was the accomplice who worked alongside Matori's attacker, Sarmo, alias Tarmo.

"In due process, this court will hear testimonies of at least 20 witnesses in connection with the March 5 attempted murder," Abdul told those present at the trial, presided over by judge Munawir.

Police confiscated a rifle, an FN gun and a homemade revolver from Sabar's home in the Total Persada Raya housing complex, Jatiuwung district, Tangerang on March 9.

Sabar has not said very much about Tarmo, who was lynched by nearby residents and ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers in the Jagakarsa area for not paying for a ride shortly after the attack.

Police have yet to get arrest the two other primary suspects in the case, namely Zulfikar and Assadullah.

"At 3 p.m. on March 2, Sabar went to Zulfikar's house on Jl. Buaya I in Karet Tengsin, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, where he was ordered by Zulfikar to get rid of members of the outlawed Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) who were infiltrating Islam," prosecutor Badrun said.

He said Sabar had either violated Article 340 of the Indonesian Criminal Code on premeditated murder, which carries the death sentence or life imprisonment; Article 355 on premeditated attempt to cause serious injuries, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years imprisonment; or Article 1 of Emergency Law No. 12/1951 on the possession of a weapon without a permit, which carries the death sentence or life imprisonment.

The media have reported that Sabar was a member of the radical Angkatan Mujahiddin Islam Nusantara (AMIN) youth organization, which is based in the Caringin Maseng subdistrict of Cijeruk, Bogor.

The group reportedly provided military-style training to its members and planned robberies at several large banks and toll roads in Greater Jakarta to raise funds for its activities.

Sabar and Tarmo are also suspected of being involved in last April's Bank BCA robbery, which occurred following a bomb blast at the Hayam Wuruk shopping center in West Jakarta. Then, Sabar's alias was Piping.

Sabar has said that Zulfikar, who was his Koran recital teacher and mentor, had given him and Tarmo the job of "killing communists who have infiltrated Islam".

Police have said that Zulfikar provided both men with a Yamaha RX-King motorcycle license number B 5013 PZ, the motorcycle's documents, a two pagers, Rp 400,000 (US$54) and an FN 46 gun along with bullets.

"Tarmo was given the job of killing (Matori) with the machete. I was given the job of riding the motorcycle and taking care of the situation should anything go wrong by using the FN-46 gun," Sabar has said.

Police have said that Sabar, a father of four children, is a son of retired Army officer First. Sgt. Suhudi M. Syair of the Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad). (ylt)