Fri, 03 Mar 2000

Police question PDI's Buttu, Alex as suspects

JAKARTA (JP): National Police detectives questioned former Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) secretary-general Buttu R. Hutapea and PDI executive board member Alex Widya Siregar on Thursday morning as suspects in the bloody takeover of party headquarters on July 27, 1996.

Col. Saleh Saaf of the National Police information unit said later on Thursday evening the men were questioned as suspects for the offenses of abuse, burning of property, causing damage to property and the mass attack.

"When I left the office on Thursday evening, the questioning was still going on, so I can't say much," Saleh told The Jakarta Post.

The men arrived at the National Police Headquarters accompanied by lawyers Paskalis Pieter, Roy Rening, Parlin Sitorus, Jufri and Lasmidara.

Pieter said the offenses fell under articles 351, 406, 170 and 187 of the Criminal Code.

"The two were summoned here for questioning, so they showed up," he said.

Asked if Soerjadi, the government-sanctioned leader of the PDI splinter group which allegedly launched the attack, would be summoned, Paskalis said a permit from President Abdurrahman Wahid had not been issued concerning the investigation.

"Soerjadi is now a member of the Supreme Advisory Council (DPA). A permit is needed for him," Paskalis said.

Earlier on Thursday, the National Police questioned three generals and two colonels in connection with the investigation into the attack on party headquarters.

Saleh identified the high-ranking officers as former National Police chief Gen. Dibyo Widodo, former Central Jakarta Police chief Brig. Gen. Aboebakar Nataprawira, former Jakarta Police chief Maj. Gen. Hamami Nata, former chief of the city police operational control Col. John Lallo and former city police chief of detectives Col. Paimin.

Aboebakar is currently deputy chief of the National Police Staff and Leadership School (Sespim), while Hamami is the governor of the Police Academy.


City police chief Maj. Gen. Nurfaizi said police detectives were questioning witnesses in rapid succession in an attempt to complete the investigation within the three-month deadline set by National Police chief Lt. Gen. Rusdihardjo.

"We are questioning dozens of people who were directly involved in the mass unrest that followed the takeover, as well as bystanders," Nurfaizi said.

The unrest left five people dead and 149 injured. Twenty-three people are still considered missing.

The party headquarters, which is still an issue of contention between PDI and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) led by Megawati Soekarnoputri, is now under the supervision of its owner, the State Secretariat. (ylt)