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Cablegate: Additional Information On Visa Case Of

VZCZCXRO9904
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1785/01 2991108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261108Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3660
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHJJPI/PACOM IDHS HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001785

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, CA/FO
CA/VO/L/C BEER
NSC FOR J.BADER, D. WALTON
DHS/ICE/VSU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CVIS KISL ID
SUBJECT: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON VISA CASE OF
PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR (SJAFRIE SJAMSOEDDIN, 30 OCT 52, IDSA)

REF: JAKARTA 01732 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified -- Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: In reftel message, Mission provided
information regarding allegations of gross human rights
violations against presidential advisor and Defense Secretary
General Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin. Mission is providing additional
information on the allegations brought against Sjamsoeddin
that may assist the Department in making a determination on
his visa eligibility. The GOI remains keenly interested in
having a determination made. Our review of the information
available leads us to the conclusion that there is no direct
evidence he ordered or took part in the atrocities in East
Timor or Jakarta to which he is alleged to have been linked.
Lacking any direct evidence, our recommendation is that
Sjamsoeddin should be eligible for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa.
END SUMMARY


CASE OF PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR

3. (SBU) As reported reftel, Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, DPOB
October 30, 1952, Indonesia, is the subject of a security
advisory opinion due to various allegations against him
related to events in East Timor and Jakarta in the 1990s.
Jakarta DATT has separately interviewed Sjamsoeddin at length
regarding the allegations (septel).

1991 and 1999 EAST TIMOR ALLEGATIONS

4. (SBU) The bulk of the allegations against Sjamsoeddin
concern East Timor. Human rights observers have accused
Sjamsoeddin of involvement in the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre,
in which more than 55 people were killed in and around the
Santa Cruz Cemetery in East Timor. According to
Sjamsoeddin's own account, he was in Dili at the time but not
involved in the massacre. Sjamsoeddin points out that his
unit was replaced before the incident occurred. Sjamsoeddin
has further stated that, on the day of the massacre, he
rescued American and Australian journalists from
pro-Indonesia militia members. The accounts of an officer
serving at Mission at that time appear to lend credence to
Sjamsoeddin's assertion that he assisted foreign nationals
escape the violence. There is no direct evidence in any case
tying him to the Santa Cruz killings.

5. (SBU) Human rights observers have accused Sjamsoeddin of
having taken no action to stop Indonesian forces from killing
civilians in Dili in 1999, while serving as Assistant for
Territorial Affairs to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed
Forces (ASTER). Mission is aware of information indicating
that Sjamsoeddin may have been in contact with militia
leaders in East Timor at that time. However, Mission's
investigations have turned up no specific evidence of his
direct involvement in 1999 East Timor human rights
violations. Sjamsoeddin has stated to Mission that he
explained to the Indonesian Investigative Commission into
Human Rights Violations in East Timor/National Commission on
Human Rights in East Timor the events of September 1999,
including the violence at the home of Bishop Francisco Belo.
The Commission absolved him of any wrongdoing.

6. (SBU) As noted reftel, at the request of the United
Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET)
James Dunn investigated allegations of Sjamsoeddin having
committed gross human rights violations and concluded he was
implicated. According to an Australian Associated Press
report dated April 20, 2001, UNTAET refused to release Dunn's
report. Moreover, UN chief Prosecutor Mohamed Othman
criticized the content, conclusions and structure of the
report. Othman stated, "It is his (Dunn's) own report and
reflects his own views," and added that the report lacked
hard and original evidence. Othman emphasized that Dunn had
no official status with the United Nations and was only
engaged as a consultant to UNTAET. Othman continued, "making
the report public has diminished its effectiveness as a legal
document as it can now be challenged for prejudicing our
investigation." John Martinkus's authoritative account of

JAKARTA 00001785 002 OF 002


human rights violations East Timor in 1997-2000, "A Dirty
Little War," makes no mention of Sjamsoeddin.

7. (SBU) The report of the Indonesia/Timor-Leste Commission
on Truth and Friendship (CTF) on East Timor makes no mention
of Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin having committed any human rights
violations while posted in Dili. Moreover, the UN Serious
Crimes Unit in Dili did not investigate him. Amcit David
Cohen (please protect), a member of the CTF, told Poloff that
Sjamsoeddin was not someone who came up during the CTF's
investigative process. Cohen is the Director of UC
Berkeley's War Crimes Studies Center and is considered an
expert on East Timor.

8. (SBU) Sjamsoeddin was one of many military officers listed
in the report of the Timor-Leste Commission for Reception,
Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR) as a "Person with High Level
Command Responsibility" for his role as ASTER from June to
September 1998. However, the report does not attribute any
specific wrongdoing to him.

1998 JAKARTA ALLEGATIONS

9. (SBU) Various reports have alleged that, as Commander of
the Jakarta Military Command, Sjamsoeddin allowed violations
of human rights to occur during the May 1998 riots in
Jakarta, including the May 12, 1998, shootings at Trisakti
University. In response to these allegations, Sjamsoeddin
has stated to Mission that the police lost control and the
military was called in to secure strategic areas. (Note: At
that time, Indonesian military and police were under joint
command.) Sjamsoeddin has stated that all of his actions
were in line with Indonesian law. At the request of the
Indonesian Human Rights Commission, the GOI conducted a
special investigation into the Trisakti incident and
subsequent violence in Jakarta. The investigative commission
recommended that he be questioned but did not recommend
bringing charges against him. According to Minister of
Defense Sudarsono, in September 1999 the State Secretariat
cleared Sjamsoeddin of all accountability and legal
responsibility for the mid-May 1998 riots and subsequent
public disorder.

NO KNOWN CONNECTION WITH EXTREMIST GROUPS

10. (SBU) As reported reftel, a search of all sources of
information available to us have not found any links between
Sjamsoeddin and violent Muslim extremist groups. In 2000,
sources alleged that Sjamsoeddin was involved with such
groups in South Sulawesi. However, we have been unable to
obtain access to this information. Separately, Mission has
reviewed TD-314/40150-04 and believes that it contains no
specific derogatory information regarding Sjamsoeddin.


MISSION RECOMMENDATION

11. (SBU) As noted above, Mission is aware of the multiple
allegations against Sjamsoeddin and has looked into them in
detail. None of the various official Indonesian, Timorese,
or UN investigations of which we are aware found culpability
on Sjamsoeddin,s part or recommended that he be punished.
The bottom line of our review is that there is no evidence
linking Sjamsoeddin directly to the human rights abuses that
occurred in the cases mentioned above. We do not believe
that circumstantial evidence linking Sjamsoeddin to these
incidents through his positions of command is enough to find
visa ineligibility. Therefore, Mission,s recommendation is
that Sjamsoeddin should be issued a U.S. visa.
HUME

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