Thu, 12 Feb 2004

Gunawan stands trial for Asaba case

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The North Jakarta District Court opened on Wednesday the trial of Gunawan Santosa, the sole defendant in the murder of the president director of PT Aneka Sarana Bakti (Asaba), Boedyharto Angsono, and his bodyguard, Army Special Forces (Kopassus) member Second Sgt. Edi Siyep.

Prosecutor Andi Herman charged the defendant with committing and ordering premeditated murder under Article 340 of the Criminal Code. The article carries the maximum death penalty.

He has also been charged under Article 338 for manslaughter, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 15 years.

The prosecution accused Gunawan of arranging the contract killing of Boedyharto, the father of his ex-wife, in July last year in the parking lot of the Sasana Krida Sports Stadium in Penjaringan, North Jakarta.

Last June, Gunawan was convicted of embezzlement after financial inconsistencies involving Rp 40 billion (US$4.7 million) were noticed by PT Asaba finance director Paulus Tejakusuma.

Gunawan escaped from the Kuningan penitentiary in Cirebon, West Java, before completing his 28-month prison term.

After his escape, Paulus was wounded by gunshot on Jl. Angkasa, Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

According to prosecutors, it was during his escape, that Gunawan hired four marines to assassinate Boedyharto.

The police arrested Gunawan last September at a rented apartment in Gunung Sahari, Central Jakarta. He had undergone plastic surgery to disguise his facial features, and carried three different identity cards.

Presiding judge I Wayan Padang Pudjawan adjourned the trial until Feb. 18.