Sat, 21 Feb 2004

Navy MPs decline joint murder trial

JAKARTA: The Navy Military Police declined a request for a joint trial by lawyers for Gunawan Santosa, who faces trial for the murder of PT Aneka Sarana Bakti (Asaba) director Boedyharto Angsono.

"Why should there be a joint trial ... it would take a long time to start the trial," Navy Military Police chief Brig. Gen. Soenarko GA said on Friday.

He said a joint trial would have to be approved by both the minister of justice and human rights and the Indonesian Military chief. A joint investigation is also required before a joint trial, Soenarko added.

The lawyers made the request during a hearing at the North Jakarta District Court on Wednesday, arguing that four other people charged with manslaughter in the case are Navy marines.

Boedyharto and his bodyguard, Army Special Forces member Second Sgt. Edi Siyep, were shot and killed in July last year in the parking lot of the Sasana Krida Sports Stadium in Penjaringan, North Jakarta.

"We have completed investigation of the four marines ... the case is ready to be brought to the military court," Soenarko said as quoted by Tempointeraktif. -- JP