Thu, 20 Mar 2003

Wife of suspected bomber quizzed

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: Police here questioned on Wednesday the first wife of a key suspect in the bombing of a McDonald's fast food outlet last year, who remains at large.

During the four-hour session, the police asked Etty Suharti if she knew the whereabouts of her husband, Agung Abdul Hamid, who disappeared after the bombing that killed three people and injured 11 others.

Etty, a doctor with Daya general hospital, told the police her husband last called her on the Idul Fitri holiday on Dec. 6, 2002, the day after the blast.

She also admitted to having no knowledge of a meeting in August between Agung and other suspects at their home to prepare for the bombing. Neither had she noticed the activities of her husband, who, as far as she knew, was a spice trader.

It was not the first time Etty had faced police questioning. Her lawyer Muhammad Kapping, who accompanied her during the questioning, said police asked his client 22 questions, some of which were similar to questions raised during a previous interrogation.

Police have named 24 suspects, including Agung's father Abdul Hamid, in the bombing, the second since the attack in Bali on Oct. 12 last year. One suspect died in the blast and four others are being hunted down. -- JP