Thu, 03 Aug 2000

Police distribute sketches of suspected office bomber

JAKARTA (JP): After four weeks of investigation, South Jakarta Police distributed on Wednesday sketches of a man suspected of detonating a bomb at the Attorney General's Office in South Jakarta on July 4.

Two sketches of the man, one in profile, show that the suspect has a slight moustache, round eyes, wavy hair, a sharp nose and some facial hair.

A source at the police station said the drawings were derived from testimonies of people at the scene when the bomb exploded.

"He is 170-centimeters tall, well-built, aged around 35 and has black skin," the source said.

South Jakarta Police chief Sr. Supt. Edward Aritonang said:

"By showing the sketches to the public, we can restrict the movements of the suspect."

He said that besides the media, the police would also circulate the sketches to all police subprecincts in the country.

Initially, the police decided against publicizing the sketches, reasoning it would alert the suspect.

Edward did not disclose whether the suspect was among the 37 witnesses who had been questioned by the investigation team.

The police questioned the witnesses following the bomb blast, which caused minor damage to a lavatory on the ground floor of the five-story office building of the deputy attorney general for special crimes.

On the following day, the police found another explosive device hidden in the ceiling of a bathroom on the second floor of the same building, precisely above the lavatory where the first bomb exploded.

Besides the sketches, Edward also disclosed details of the two bombs.

"The first bomb was a medium explosive device. After examining the remains of the bomb, we found nitrate and kerosene in the crater," he said.

He said the first bomb was detonated by the suspect on the spot.

"A fuse-triggered bomb does not have a timer to detonate it," he said, adding that the police found no finger prints on the bomb.

He said the second bomb could very well have exploded.

"It was an accident (it did not explode). The second bomb did not explode as the first explosion dislodged its timer," he said.

Edward said the second bomb comprised of eight explosive devices joined by a piece of wire.

"One of the eight explosive devices weighed 160 grams and was produced by state-owned weapons and ammunition producer PT Pindad in 1996, another weighed 500 grams, also produced by Pindad in 1973, and the other six devices were made in the former Yugoslavia in 1952," he said. The Yugoslavia-made device weighed 200 grams, he added.

He said the timer was poised to start once its needle pointed to the number 12.

"Generated by a 9-volt battery, the timer sends an electric current to an electric detonator, which then detonates the bomb," he said.

Edward said the police expected that an Army investigation team would be soon informing them of the results of its investigation.

"If they inform us of the results, we could exchange information and accelerate the investigation," he said.

The Army team was established by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Tyasno Sudarto three days after the blast.

Edward said the police had asked the military to reveal the persons or group who took the explosive devices from the Army's weapon warehouse in Saradan, East Java.

"Once the military persons who gave the explosive devices to the irresponsible parties are identified, the suspects can be arrested," he said.

He said the warehouse, which stores Pindad-made explosives, distributes the devices to the Army's main units, such as the Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad), the Infantry Weaponry Center (Pussenif) and regional military commands. (asa)