We Did Not Coerce Witnesses
The police are persistent in their statement that they found firearms in the possession of the six members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) who died in a clash with the police. Reconstruction was enacted in four different crime scenes.
FOR nearly 12 hours, Director of General Crimes at the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim), Brig. Gen. Andi Rian Djajadi, accompanied the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) team at the Police Forensic Lab Center in Sentul, Bogor, West Java, on Wednesday, December 30. The Komnas HAM are studying projectiles found at the arresting location of six members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) on the road to the West Karawang toll gates in Karawang, West Java. In between accompanying the Komnas HAM personnel, Andi Rian made time for an interview with Linda Trianita and Riky Ferdianto of Tempo. He explained investigation developments into the deaths of the six FPI members.
What are the lab results regarding the projectiles found on site by the Komnas HAM?
This is not an item found by investigators, so we cannot give comment. Investigators are only accompanying the Komnas HAM for inspection at the lab because we own the facility. They brought with them third party consultants, the Pindad (the state’s firearms producer), and members of several community-based organizations.
Your response to the projectile finding by Komnas HAM outside the crime scene reconstructed by the police?
I have no authority to convey the contents of the inspection. It is not in my capacity to give a response regarding the Komnas HAM finding. We were also asked to provide an explanation to the Komnas HAM. It is always possible a crime scene is here, and a projectile flew to another spot.
There were also shards of a car’s bumper lights at the location where the projectiles were found. Did your investigators also find these?
Just bring the items to us so they can be made evidence. Things have to be formalized. Who submitted the pieces, when were they found, these things have to be looked into. We are open to further inputs and to anything already underway. Once the Jakarta Metropolitan Police handed over the case to the Bareskrim on December 8, we immediately opened a hotline number. Yet, WhatsApp messages that came in were so-so, no one said directly they were willing to provide testimony.
What are the developments on the case of the death of six FPI members at the Bareskrim?
We conducted a reconstruction of the incident openly at the four spots of the crime scene. The fact remains, an attack against police officers occurred using sharp-bladed weapons and firearms. The police investigated the incident using scientific methods and facts, including reports by coroners, experts in digital forensics, ballistics experts, and experts in metallurgical forensics. We employed all these.
And the result of the ballistics examination?
There were six firearms at the crime scene, comprising four factory-made firearms and two non-factory products. The four factory-produced firearms were handguns, while the type of the non-factory ones were revolvers. Some of the projectiles matched.
Based on the examination, were the two non-factory produced guns owned by the FPI men?
Swab tests were conducted for gunpowder traces to inspect whether indeed they used firearms or not. The facts showed gunpowder traces were found.
Why there were gunshot wounds on the left chest of the FPI members?
The pathologist reports showed the six bodies sustained 18 gunshot wounds. There were no other wounds, either from blunt, sharp or other types of objects. The cause of their deaths were gunshot wounds. Those are from reports by experts. Members of our police force opened fire because they were attacked first using sharp-bladed weapons and firearms.
How could a Metropolitan Police surveillance team tasked to tail Muhammad Rizieq Shihab and his entourage open fire on six FPI members?
It is not for investigators to check what they were tasked with. We are only out to ensure whether an attack occurred or not. We are investigators. If a report comes in, well, we will check it out.
A few days before the death of six of their members, the FPI had apprehended three people claiming to be members of the State Intelligence Agency. Is this connected to the same operation?
This is exactly what was said by the Jakarta Metro Police Chief Insp. Gen. Fadil Imran, that they (FPI) positioned themselves above the state. It is ridiculous that members of the State Intelligence were apprehended, recorded in a video, which was then made public. Who do you think you are? If some officers walk back and forth, what of it? Unless they start committing criminal deeds. They were on duty, state duty, they were following orders.
A few minutes after the incident at the Kilometer 50 Rest Area of the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road, a police officer with the rank of chief adjunct commissioner arrived in a Toyota Land Cruiser. Why was this occurrence not reenacted in the reconstruction?
So far, no witnesses we examined have talked about a Land Cruiser. That witness told that to the Komnas HAM. Please come to us.
There is information the police coerced witnesses in the rest area to wipe out all photos and videos. Your response?
Who did the coercion? Of the 42 witnesses at the crime scene whom we investigated, this has been no issue. Several sought the protection of the Witness and Victim Protection Agency, and this we facilitated. Perhaps what they meant was that on the spot were other police on duty. It was a crime scene, after all, in status quo, so no one was allowed to take pictures. That’s why we requested all pictures to be deleted. Yet still some pictures did make the rounds, right?