Tue, 07 Nov 2000

Five suspects arrested over killing of police

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi (JP): Local police arrested five men on Sunday for their alleged involvement in the murder of Second Insp. Don Bosco Sagala, a police officer said on Monday.

The investigation team, comprising personnel from the South Sulawesi Police Headquarters, Takalar and Gowa Police, made the arrests following a sweep to apprehend the perpetrators of the killing last Friday.

South Sulawesi Police detectives chief Sr. Supt. Untung S. Radjab said the five suspects were Agus Suara, Muhajir, Haris Tojeng, Mahaning Ngoyo and Maliang. All are being held at the Gowa Police station.

Untung said the police were searching for three other suspects named Bazar, Haris Situju and Po'golo Tinggi.

He added that police received information from one of the witnesses who was questioned the same night when the killing occurred.

Shortly after receiving the information, police conducted the sweep and found the five suspects were still in the village.

"We arrested the five without any resistance," Untung said.

Sagala, a police detective with Takalar Police, was attacked during a wedding reception at Leko Bodong village, when he, accompanied by five officers, tried to arrest Bazar for robbery.

Bazar, backed by the other suspects, resisted arrest and turned violent after Sagala fired warning shots and mistakenly shot a local named Rala. Sagala was outnumbered and murdered.

He had served on the police force for 20 years.

Meanwhile, Gowa Police chief Supt. I Komang Udayana said the five admitted to investigators that they helped Bazar catch and mob Sagala to death.

"One of the five said he helped in the assault, but he did not know that Sagala was a police officer until the latter pulled out his gun and shot Rala," Komang said.

The officer said he expected the residents to help police find Bazar and the other suspects still at large.

Mob violence against the police was experienced by Sinjai Police deputy chief Sr. Insp. Sappewali last month, but the officer managed to escape. (27/lup)