Swedish Court Frees Acheh Movement Leaders
Government of the State of Acheh: Swedish court frees unconditionally leaders of the Free Acheh Movement
SWEDISH COURT FREES UNCONDITIONALLY Prime Minister Malik Mahmood and Health/Foreign Minister Dr. Zaini Abdullah
Stockholm June 18, 2004
The Swedish Court sitting at Huddinge in the outskirt of Stokholm has freed unconditionally the Free Acheh Prime and its Health/Foreign Minister Dr. Zaini Abdullah who were detained for the formal 72 hour police investigation purposes before being brought to court this morning to answer allegations presented by the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand, following the complaints by the Indonesian Government that the Free Acheh Movement leaders:
1. Lead the Free Acheh Government in-exile in Sweden for the purpose of separating Acheh from the Republic of Indonesia,
2. Ordered guerillas under their control in Acheh to carry out the burning of 6 schools,
3. Ordered the taking of 243 hostages.
The session, held in close chamber, started at 11.00 am local time and ended at 13.30. The morning session deliberated on the case against Dr. Zaini. Just before the lunch break the case against him was dismissed by the Court. When the session began again at 13.30 to try Mr. Malik, Mr. Tomas Linstrand withdrew his case and the court freed both from all charges unconditionally.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE CASE
1. Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Three police teams came simultaneously to the appartment of Dr. Teungku Hasan di Tiro, Head of the State of Acheh, president of the Acheh-Sumatra National Liberation Front, to the appartment of Prime Minister Malik Mahmood and to the appartment of Health/Foreign Minister, Dr. Zaini Abdullah. The police took several documents from these appartments as well as a computer harddisk from the appartment of Dr. Zaini. Mr. Malik and Dr. Zaini were then taken to the police station under the usual order of investigative detention.
ASNLF Spokesman, Bakhtiar Abdullah immediately contacted a lawyer to look into the matter and to provide defense. Meanwhile that very morning Channel 4 of the Swedish TV asked Mr. Bakhtiar Abdullah for an interview which he did in the appartment of Dr. Hasan di-Tiro. Following which Mr. Bakhtiar was again interviewed by various international news agencies and world radio stations. During these interviews Mr. Bakhtiar stressed his confidence in the justice system of his adopted country. In Acheh the Free Acheh National Armed Forces, TNA, Muzakkir Manaf, said that Achehnese were not at all deterred by the arrest and would continue the struggle and if necessary the people would elect interim civilian leaders to take over from those under detention in Sweden. TNA spokesman, Sofyan Dawod, responding to the call from Jakarta to give up the struggle, said it would be stupid for freedom fighters to surrender just because their leaders had been arrested.
2. Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The defence lawyer gained access to the detainees. He reported that they were in high spirit and were confidence that they would win their case. Mr. Bakhtiar Abdullah and the TNA commanders continued being interviewed by the world press. Achehnese refugees, humanrights activists and other supporters of the Achehnese struggle worldwide started to write to the Swedish Ambassadors in their respective countries expressing their dismay over the arrest, mostly pointing out the danger of giving Jakarta the wrong signal that Stockholm supported the atrocities and gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Indonesian regim in Acheh.
3. Thursday, June 17, 2004.
Coverage of the detention by the world press continued to widen and intensify. Jakarta propaganda machine worked overtime, announcing falsely, among other things that Dr. Teungku Hasan di Tiro himself was arrested and that the Swedish Government had agreed that the 3 would be extradicted to Jakarta. Jakarta also announced that it was sending 2 highranking police officers to Stockholm to interrogate the Achehnese leaders.
4. Friday, June 18, 2004
The case was brought to court for deliberation and decision by a team of judges. A lawyer acting for the newly arrived Indonesian police officers asked the court to be allowed to participate in the proceeding. The request was rejected and he was told to leave the court. His request to speak to Dr. Zaini also met with a very firm no from Dr. Zaini.
By 13.30 the case
was close and the two Achehnese were freed unconditionally.