Fri, 03 Nov 2000

Doctor says autopsy OK'd by relatives

JAKARTA (JP): A forensic expert dismissed on Thursday the allegation that doctors unlawfully performed an autopsy on murder victim Fernando Helio Parada, saying the autopsy was approved by the victim's family.

"The family said in a letter that they agreed to the autopsy. But the letter was taken by those who ran amok at the morgue on Monday.

"So we don't have any real evidence. But several staffers witnessed the signing of the approval letter," said Budi Sampurna, a forensic expert at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital in Central Jakarta.

Some 40 people vandalized the morgue on Monday, following the autopsy on Fernando, a 30-year-old parking coordinator at the Bengkel Night Park in South Jakarta who was stabbed to death after he reportedly demanded money from the occupants of a vehicle.

The relatives of the victim were said to be enraged because they believed an autopsy had been performed on Fernando without their consent.

Relatives of Fernando, including reputed gang leader Hercules, filed a complaint with the police on Monday against the hospital for what they called an unauthorized autopsy.

However, Article 133 of the Criminal Code Procedures requires an autopsy be performed on murder victims as evidence for the police investigation and trial.

"So the family's consent was not necessary for the autopsy," said Budi. (07)