Come Uppance Once
Having to prepare for one's comeuppance must be a big letdown for General (ret) Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono, formerly head of the Badan Intelijen Negara
(BIN), the State Intelligence Agency.
He's finally under serious investigation for ordering, in September 2004, the murder of Munir Said Thalib
, "one of the country's boldest and most consistent defenders of human rights
The perpetrator, who put arsenic in Munir's drink at a stopover in Singapore, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, is behind bars for twenty years, but it has long been known that he was the patsy, the fall guy for the axis of evil who'd long been Suharto's lackeys.
A government fact finding team was set up by SBY and reported back to him in June 2005. It became known, but not proven, that BIN was involved. As I posted then
, it can't have helped that former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Hendropriyono and his former deputy Muchdi Purwopranjono ... both ... failed to comply with two summonses for questioning by the fact-finding team investigating the murder of human rights campaigner Munir.
That same day Hendropriyono denied that he was involved, so I posted an apology
It was revealed at his trial that Pollycarpus called Muchdi 41 times around the time of the murder. Muchdi, successor to Lt. Gen. Prabowo, Suharto's son-ín-law, was fired from his position as commander of Kopassus
(Army Special Forces), long feared for their 'tradition' of human rights violations
. Muchdi was alleged by Munir to have been behind the disappearances of student activists in the immediate lead up to the end of the New Order régime in 1998, when
Munir alleged that both Prabowo and Muchdi had been behind the disappearances of student activists in the immediate lead up to the end of the New Order régime in 1998. The then Armed forces chief General Wiranto, who is one of many to have thrown his hat into next year's presidential electoral circus, later admitted that Kopassus was involved in the kidnappings
. An internal probe showed that the Kopassus command had issued orders to "uncover several movements then considered radical and jeopardizing government programs and public security.
According to his minimalist résume I posted here
, Hendropriyono's military background also hints at human rights abuses. It was in early 1989 on his watch as Military Commandant, Korem Garuda Hitam, Lampung, South Sumatra that the Warsidi incident
took place.Government troops attacked an alleged militant Islamic sect in Lampung, known by the name of its leader, Warsidi. In the aftermath of the assault, which may have left as many as 100 people dead, the government began a widespread crack-down against Muslims believed to be linked with the 'Warsidi Gang'. Scores of Muslim activists were arrested in subsequent months in Lampung, Nusa Tenggara Barat, West Java and Jakarta. Most were tried for subversion in 1989 and 1990. All were found guilty and sentenced to terms of up to life imprisonment.
There are mutterings that the current public exposure of formerly seemingly immune public servants is to show SBY in a good light. After all, there's a Presidential Election next year. But if he is that duplicitous, would he have allowed his brother-in-law, Brigadier General Pramono Edhie Wibowo, to become the latest Kopassus commander?Some say
that the promotion of Wibowo is "yet another example of the failure of Indonesia to deal with its military’s long and sordid history of human rights violations in East Timor and elsewhere.
In 1999, Wibowo headed Kopassus Group 5, which deployed to East Timor in 1999 at the time of the UN-organized referendum on independence.
In fact, there are very strong family ties and military traditions
stretching back 40 years or so upheld in his appointment. SBY has also 'guaranteed' the army's loyalty for the length of his reign.
So, what are we to make of these developments in the Munir case? Does it signal a reform of the State Intelligence Agency? Or is it yet another cover up of a cover up?
Only time and eager whispers will tell, so keep tracking this hyperspace.