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Cablegate: Surabaya: Icitap-Funded Dna Lab Opened with Enthusiasm

VZCZCXRO6243
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0097 2210859
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080859Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0274
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0260
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0145
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0145
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0279

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000097

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, INL, EAP/PD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID ASEC ID
SUBJECT: SURABAYA: ICITAP-FUNDED DNA LAB OPENED WITH ENTHUSIASM

This message is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) Summary: The opening of a Surabaya DNA forensics lab
established with assistance from the U.S. Department of
Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training
Assistance Program (ICITAP) generated positive press in East
Java and the continued appreciation of provincial police. The
press coverage focused on the role of U.S. assistance and ICITAP
advisors and noted that the lab will play an important role in
future investigations cases, including investigations into the
recent serial killings in Jombang, East Java. The DNA lab
serves as a catalyst for the transition from the previous
confession-based system to an evidence-based system of criminal
investigation, the trademark of a professional law enforcement
agency. The opening of this DNA lab is latest example of
positive U.S.-Indonesian cooperation through an ICITAP program
to strengthen the professionalism and effectiveness of the
Indonesian National Police. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Senior police officials from throughout Eastern
Indonesia gathered at the East Java provincial police
headquarters for the opening of the ICITAP funded DNA forensics
lab on August 6. Cooperation between the East Java Regional
Police and ICITAP, a Department of Justice program that offers
training and infrastructure to foreign police forces, began in
July 2003 and has included investigative training for police
officers and NGOs and the opening of a cyber crimes lab. Local
press highlighted the benefits of the East Java Regional Police
Department's new DNA-testing equipment, providing only the
second with DNA-testing capacity in the country and handling
cases from East Java and Kalimantan. Previously, DNA samples
from around the country had to be sent to the National Police
Headquarters in Jakarta. Most media reported plans for a DNA
data bank containing DNA samples from convicted criminals that
will be used to make policework easier.

3. (SBU) The press pointed to an on-going serial murder
investigation to illustrate the benefit of the lab. Feri Idham
Henyansah is suspected of killing at least 11 in Jombang and has
been the center of media attention throughout East Java. The
local press noted that the DNA tests could have been conducted
at the new East Java Forensics Lab, but because the equipment
had not been officially inaugurated, the initial tests had been
done in Jakarta. All press reports mentioned the crime as an
example of a situation in which DNA testing is necessary,
thereby making the lab more relevant to the public. East Java's
leading newspaper, Jawa Pos, quoted the Chief of Police for
East Java, Herman S. Sumawiredja, praising the equipment's value
to criminal investigation and emphasizing the need to upgrade
forensic technology at a time when criminals are sophisticated
and no longer leave obvious tracks. Other papers added that
Herman issued thanks to the United States for the gift as it
would be helpful to the Indonesian government.

4. (SBU) The United States and ICITAP received unanimously
positive press coverage from the event. The opening ceremony
was open to the press and featured remarks by Pak Herman, the
lab's senior officials, Surabaya PO and ICITAP advisors. The
Memorandum referred to cooperation between the East Java
Regional Police Department and ICITAP. Most press referred to
the equipment as aid from the United States government. Several
online media sources also quoted ICITAP senior consultant David
N. Gidley as saying the equipment met internationals standard
and was meant to reinforce an evidence-based crime fighting
system. Suara Surabaya online also noted that the United States
had not only donated the equipment but provided training, adding
up to a total contribution of approximately US$ 700,000.

MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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