Munir Lawyers Optimistic over Fresh Evidence

JAKARTA ~ The widow of murdered Indonesian activist Munir Said Thalib and his lawyer say they are optimistic that fresh evidence submitted to Indonesia’s top court will see his killer retried.

Munir’s widow Suciwati and lawyer Usman Hamid met with the attorney general to discuss his office’s request last month for a case review of the quashing of the only conviction made in relation to the murder.

An off-duty pilot for national carrier Garuda, Pollycarpus Priyanto, was found guilty of poisoning Munir during a flight to Amsterdam in 2004 but his conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court last year.

Priyanto, who is accused of links to the powerful national intelligence agency BIN, was instead handed a two-year jail term for falsifying a document, which saw him freed.

The Attorney General Office’s move is seen as unusual, as procedural law only allows for defendants to request case reviews by the Supreme Court.

Suciwati said she was optimistic after Attorney General Hendarman Supanji “said he would keep looking for Munir’s murderer even if this process fails … I believe that the attorney general will find what I have been searching for: justice.”

Lawyer Hamid told reporters that the pair were told about the new evidence filed as the basis for the review request.

“We believe the facts are strong enough for the state prosecutors in trying Pollycarpus for Munir’s premeditated murder,” he said.

“The court will prove who killed Munir, why, who ordered it and how the murder took place.”

He added that other names would emerge as being involved in the conspiracy to kill the activist, including figures from Garuda and BIN, without elaborating.

The government has come under increasing pressure to find those responsible for the murder of Munir, who made many enemies during his campaigns for justice, particular during the repressive Suharto era, which ended in 1998.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was elected on an anti-corruption platform, has particularly come under fire from activists for failing to find out who was responsible.

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