Sat, 04 Aug 2001

Policemen reexamined in fatal case

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (JP): The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas Ham) has reexamined 24 policemen of various ranks from private to general over last December's bloody incident in Abepura, Irian Jaya, in which two policemen were killed.

Albert Rumbikwan, member of the Irian Jaya Komnas Ham, told reporters here on Friday that the reexamination had to be conducted after the result of the first questioning was rejected by the Attorney General's office due to its incompleteness.

"The new result will be sent to the Attorney General's office in Jakarta on August 14," Albert said.

In the reexamination which began on Thursday, Irian Jaya Komnas Ham questioned Irian Jaya Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Darmo Moerhadi, Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Daud Sihombing and Abepura Police chief Adj. Comr. Alex Korwa as witnesses.

The Attorney General's Office is expected to identify the suspects after studying the result of the second questioning.

Violence broke out in Abepura on Dec. 7, 2000, when over 100 armed rioters attacked the Abepura Police station before dawn, claiming three victims, including two policemen and injuring four officers.

The attackers, armed with handmade rifles, spears, swords and machetes, ransacked shops, homes and restaurants on their way to the police station.

Irian Jaya Police suspected that the Free Papua Organization (OPM) militia and another rebel group called the Penis Sheath (Koteka) task force were behind the violence.

Albert Rumbikwan expressed his optimism that the Attorney General's Office would bring the Abepura case to the human rights court, to be the first human rights violation case tried in Indonesia. (35/sdt)