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Cablegate: Munir Case: Senate Staffer Gets Upbeat Appraisal

VZCZCXRO8589
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2201 2250930
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130930Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5764
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0996
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 3336

UNCLAS JAKARTA 002201

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL PINR KCRM KJUS ID
SUBJECT: MUNIR CASE: SENATE STAFFER GETS UPBEAT APPRAISAL
FROM POLICE

REF: A) JAKARTA 2122 B) JAKARTA 1223 C) JAKARTA 163

D) JAKARTA 13007 (2006)

1. (SBU) This message is Sensitive But Unclassified. Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. Indonesian police expressed optimism that
new evidence they have submitted to the Attorney General's
Office (AGO) in the case of murdered human rights leader
Munir will lead to successful prosecution. Head of Internal
Investigations Division Bambang Hendarso told Senate Foreign
Affairs Committee Staff Member Keith Luse on August 9 that
President Yudhoyono and the Chief of Police are both
committed to convict "whoever was behind" the murder.
Hendarso could not disclose details of the new evidence but
did say that all the evidence will come to public light in
upcoming court hearings. The first hearing, scheduled for
August 9, has been delayed until August 16. END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) Senate Foreign Staff Member Keith Luse met with the
Indonesian National Police's Head of Internal Investigations
Bambang Hendarso on August 9, to get an update on the status
of the Munir murder case. Hendarso gathered six members of
the nine-person Munir police investigation team for the
meeting. Hendarso confirmed that the case presented to the
Central Jakarta Court has significant new evidence (Ref A).
"Hopefully the case will succeed because of new evidence we
have given to prosecutors. This will not be finished until
we get whoever is behind the case," Hendarso told Luse and
poloff. Jakarta Central Court is scheduled to hear the case
on August 16.

President Ordered Munir Case to be Solved
-----------------------------------------
4. (SBU) Emphasizing the GOI's commitment to solve the case,
Hendarso said Chief of Police Sutanto had ordered him to
complete the case as quickly as possible and had given him a
nine-person veteran police team to work on the case full time
since the beginning of the year. He emphasized that
President Yudhoyono ordered the police chief and the Attorney
General to see the case solved.

5. (SBU) Hendarso said he could not reveal details of new
evidence nor the identity of new suspects, explaining that
divulging information could damage the case in court, but
said that all the facts would be publicly revealed in court
hearings open to the public. However, Hendarso did explain
how thorough the investigation has been. For example, police
flew on a Garuda Airlines plane from Jakarta to Singapore to
reenact the entire sequences of events (ref B). Hendarso
added that two new suspects in the case, two Garuda
executives, have been held for the past four months pending
the upcoming hearings.

6. (SBU) Police are also spending heavily on the case,
Hendarso said, citing the $65,000 that they are spending to
escort one Indonesian witness from Germany to Indonesia under
protective custody. An American forensic expert from a
private lab in Washington state who examined the arsenic
content in Munir's body might also be brought to testify, he
said.

Luse Praises "Courage and Leadership"
------------------------------------
7. (SBU) Luse told Hendarso that Senator Lugar and his
colleagues appreciate the police's "willingness to pursue the
truth no matter where the truth may take you," saying this
takes courage on the part of the police and their leaders.

8. (SBU) Asked about possible motives, Hendarso said he could
not respond specifically but did say that the "motive was
connected with Munir's human rights activities in general."


9. (U) Keith Luse cleared this message.


HUME

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