Wed, 19 Mar 2003

Police detain only one of five suspects in `Tempo' attack

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Central Jakarta Police investigators detained on Tuesday one of five men suspected of instigating the attack on Tempo newsweekly after one day of interrogation.

David alias A Miauw entered the police station on Monday for questioning and was officially detained at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Three other suspects who also appeared for questioning on Monday were allowed to leave and agreed to be summoned as witnesses in court for David.

Lawyer Farhat Abbas said that the other three -- Hidayat Lukman alias Teddy Uban, Yosef and Septi -- had been charged with violating Article 352 of the Criminal Code on minor assault, which carries a maximum penalty of three months in prison.

Another suspect, Abdul Haris Sumbi, is currently in Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara, for his mother's funeral.

"Unlike the others, David is charged with violating Article 335 of the Criminal Code, which carries punishment of one year in jail for forcing or coercing others to perpetrate violence against others.

"Despite our pledge to cooperate in the investigation, the police rejected our plea for David to be released for fear that he would flee or recommit the crime he is charged with. We will try again to get him out," Farhat told reporters.

David reportedly led a group of people to rally outside the offices of Tempo, which they said had hurt the business interests of their boss, businessman Tomy Winata, by publishing an article inferring that last month's fire at Tanah Abang textile market could prove advantageous for Tomy.

Wearing a blue T-shirt and shorts, David was seen in the police station going up the stairs to the investigation room, which is near the detention cell on the second floor, after having his fingerprints taken.

Reporters were not allowed past the front desk of the police station, where security was unusually tight and where a function to welcome the new deputy chief of Central Jakarta Police, Comr. Ricky Wakanno, was being held.

Central Jakarta Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Sukrawardhi Dahlan made it clear that "the decision (to detain David) was made at the Jakarta Police Headquarters, so all information should come from there".