Tue, 08 Aug 2000

Reenactment of bomb blast set for Tuesday

JAKARTA (JP): In an effort to refresh the chronology of the last week bomb blast outside the residence of Philippine Ambassador Leonides T. Caday in Central Jakarta, City Police would reenact the bombing on Tuesday, an officer said.

City police spokesman Supt. Zainuri Lubis said on Monday that the reenactment would take place at the scene of the incident.

"It's aimed at ascertaining the chronology of the bomb blast," he said.

"It will help the police develop the investigation, especially in the effort to gather new facts which have yet to be explored during the ongoing investigation," Zainuri told reporters at his office.

Separately, an officer of the National Police's information unit Sr. Supt. Saleh Saaf said that police investigators had questioned 27 witnesses over the case.

"The witnesses were people who were in the vicinity when the bomb exploded," Saleh told reporters at his office.

Zainuri said the reconstruction would be led by chief of the city police detectives Sr. Supt. Harry Montolalu.

He added that the witnesses would help city police personnel reconstruct the incident, which claimed two lives and injured 21 others, including the Ambassador.

Zainuri declined to elaborate on whether the city police would block Jl. Imam Bonjol, a main thoroughfare in front of Caday's house, during the reconstruction, which is scheduled for Tuesday evening.

Saleh said some witnesses testified that the Mercedes sedan, in which the Ambassador was riding, was approaching the Suzuki minibus, in which the bomb is suspected to have been planted.

"The Mercedes sedan was about to enter the gate of the residence as the bomb exploded. But, it is too hasty to conclude that the Ambassador was the target of the bombing," he said.

Saleh said that police investigators have preliminarily concluded that the bomb blast was perpetrated by professionals.

"The bomb was placed over a water pipe outside the residence of the Ambassador, so that when it exploded, all evidence would be washed away by the gushing water," he said.

Asked about foreign assistance for the ongoing police investigation, Saleh said that a police officer from the Los Angeles Police Department had arrived in Jakarta.

"The police officer arrived here on Saturday. He is helping us with the investigation," he said without elaborating.

Saleh added that the officer was an expert on bomb investigations.

"He is not a bomb expert, but he is accustomed to investigating bomb blasts," he said.

The rank of the U.S. officer was not available. (asa)