Police Arrest Novel’s Suspected Attacker
JAKARTA'S Metropolitan Police have arrested two active policemen on Thursday, December 26, for allegedly carrying out the attack on KPK investigator Novel Baswedan.
The two were only mentioned with the initials RM and RB. “The technical team has found significant information, and we are looking into that information,” said Indonesian Police Criminal Detective Head General Commissioner Listyo Sigit Prabowo on Friday, December 27.
Indonesian Police Head of Public Information Brigadier General Argo Yuwono said that the arrest has gone through a range of processes, including crime scene investigations, seven pre-reconstructions, interrogation of 73 witnesses, and having experts on the technical team. Argo said that both men have been named as suspects in Novel Baswedan’s attack.
Novel Baswedan was attacked with acid right after morning prayers nearby the Al-Ihsan mosque by his home in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, on April 11, 2017. The police have formed a special team of 65 people to handle this case. However, this case has not been solved although more than two years have passed.
KPK Head Firli Bahuri voiced his appreciation on the arrest. He thanked the police for bringing this case to light. “As KPK head, I convey my highest appreciation.”
However, Novel Baswedan’s legal team thought that the naming of the suspects was insufficient. In its press conference, the legal team asked that the police also reveal the intellectual perpetrator of the attack, who is thought to be a general. “Since the beginning, it has been crystal clear that police members were involved in this case,” said Kurnia Ramadhana, team member and researcher at Indonesia Corruption Watch.
Indonesian Government Hands Off on Uighur Issue
PRESIDENTIAL Chief of Staff Moeldoko said that the Indonesian government would not intervene in the alleged discrimination against the Muslim Uighur community in China. “Every country has autonomy to manage its own citizens,” Moeldoko said in his office on Monday, December 23.
Moeldoko’s statement, however, differed from that of Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Mahfud Md. On Thursday, December 19, Mahfud said the foreign ministry has already been engaged in ‘soft’ diplomacy with the Chinese government.
The government has been urged to be more active in the Uighur issue. Hikmahanto Juwana, professor of international relations at University of Indonesia said that Indonesia could take the Uighur case to the United Nations for suspicion of violation of human rights. Meanwhile Andre Rahardian, head of UI’s alumni association, said Indonesia could optimize its position as a non-permanent member of the UN’s Security Council and Human Rights Commission.
Nduga Deputy regent Steps Down
NDUGA Deputy Regent Wentius Nimiangge has stepped down from his function on Monday, December 23. Wentius said that the ongoing conflict in his region has resulted in civilian victims. “I’m stepping down because the killings are ongoing,” Wentius said when contacted on Friday, December 27.
One week prior to that, Wentius’ driver Hendrik Lokbere was shot dead by an unknown perpetrator. However, Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Mahfud Md denied those reports.
Conflict between armed groups and the Indonesian military and police in Nduga has been ongoing since December 2018, following the massacre of PT Istaka Karya di Gunung Tabo personnel. Many Nduga residents have evacuated to other areas. Ence Geong, coordinator of volunteers for the Nduga residents in Wamena, said that at least 800 people have been in Wamena since August.