Thu, 27 May 2004

Former Lampung council speaker's son detained over bomb attacks

Oyos Saroso H.N., Bandarlampung

Chandra, 35, a son of Lampung Legislative Council's former speaker Abbas Hadisunyoto was officially detained as a suspect on Wednesday for his alleged role in recent terror attacks in the provincial capital of Bandarlampung.

He was charged with involvement in the throwing of a bomb at the education and training center of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) on Jl. Sriwijaya, Bandarlampung, on Tuesday morning.

The arrest of Chandra also came after the finding of another bomb on Tuesday night on Jl. Cut Nyak Dien, near the home of former council speaker Srie Atidah of the PDI-P faction.

The 50-centimeter bomb was discovered by two police officers who were on patrol on Jl. Cut Nyak Dien. It was reportedly defused by a bomb squad team.

However, Lampung Police chief Brig. Gen. M.D. Primanto confirmed that Chandra has been interrogated since Tuesday evening.

The device thrown at the PDI-P building was of a similar type to the bomb that exploded outside the council building hours before a revote was held there to elect a new governor, Primanto said, pointing at a possible connection between the two incidents.

It was a homemade bomb that fishermen usually use to catch fish, Primanto explained.

He said Chandra was arrested after an eyewitness told police investigators that Abbas' son was among those in the PDI-P education and training center before the bomb was found.

Another witness said he saw a man riding a Yamaha RX King motorcycle throw a bottle bomb at the PDI-P training center, according to Primanto.

It failed to explode however, because the seal of the bottle came off when it was thrown, he added.

Other senior police officers also refused to comment further on the bomb incidents that appear to have been politically motivated.

Chandra's father was among the 16 PDI-P councillors who were dismissed by party leader President Megawati Soekarnoputri for backing the election of Alzier Dianis Thabranie as the new governor in December 2002.

Alzier defeated then incumbent governor Oemarsono who was supported by Megawati. Earlier this year, Alzier was convicted for graft by a district court in Lampung and Minister of Home Affairs Hari Sabarno annulled his victory and ordered the council to hold a revote.

On Monday, the council chaired by speaker Nurhasanah of the PDI-P faction voted for Sjachroeddin Z.P. and Syamsuria Ryacudu to replace Alzier, defying mounting opposition from parties and student groups.

At least eight students have been on a hunger strike in Bandarlampung since Tuesday night to protest the revote.