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JP: Nine soldiers arrested for Wamena arsenal burglary  Paul Barber
 Apr 24, 2003 02:27 PDT 

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

Jakarta Post
April 24, 2003

Nine soldiers arrested for arsenal burglary

Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura, Papua

The military police unit of the Trikora Military Command overseeing Papua has
arrested nine soldiers and seven civilians for their alleged involvement in
the April 4 arsenal burglary in Wamena, in which two soldiers and a Free
Papua Movement (OPM) rebel were killed.

The suspects arrived in Jayapura from Wamena on Wednesday and were placed in
the detention facility at the military command headquarters in the city.

Military police unit chief Lt. Col. Sutarna identified the nine soldiers as
Maj. Sgt. KI, First Sgt. PP, Chief Corp. PK, First Pvt. EK, First Sgt. YM,
Second Corp. MIJ, First Sgt. IK, First Sgt. IK and Second Lt. PW, and
confirmed that they were all members of the Wamena Military District.

He said six of the nine suspects were being charged with negligence, for
which they faced one year imprisonment.

"Second Lt. PW and First Sgt. IK will stand trial for their part in giving
weapons and ammunition to the rebels, who shot dead two soldiers. Under
military law, they face a maximum ten years' imprisonment," he added.

Further, Sutarna said First Sgt. SJ was facing death row or a life sentence
for his involvement in helping the rebels attack the two soldiers, which
resulted in their deaths.

"All nine suspects will stand trial at the military tribunal and will be
punished as befitting the part they played in the arsenal burglary," he said,
adding that the nine suspects would likely be dismissed from military

Sutarna identified the nine civilian suspects as Kanius Murib, Nugungga
Talenggen, Kimanus Wenda, Yaprai Murib, Enos Locobal, Des Wenda and Mikael
Heselo, who are to be tried at the Jayapura District Court.

"The seven will be indicted for helping the rebels to launch the attack and
break into the arsenal. We have appointed Fantrisno R. Tagihuma as their
defense attorney in the case," he said.

Two soldiers, First Lt. A. Napitupulu and First Sgt. Ruben Lena, and one
rebel, Islea Murib, were killed when a group of 15 OPM rebels attacked the
two on-duty soldiers in their attempt to break into the Army's arsenal in
Wamena Military District. After killing the two soldiers, the rebels stole 29
M-16, SP and AK-47 rifles and thousands of ammunition rounds.

Twenty-one of the 29 rifles have already been recovered in an operation
involving 144 soldiers of the Army's Special Forces (Kopassus) and the
Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad), who helped the local military to hunt
down the rebels.

Local religious groups and non-governmental organizations have expressed
their deep concern over the arsenal burglary and the subsequent military
deployment, but called on the government not to use the incident as a reason
to relaunch a military operation in the province.

Thousands of people were killed in the 1980s and the 1990s when the
government launched a military operation to crush the Free Papua Movement.

Paul Barber
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign,
25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ
Tel/Fax: 01420 80153
Email: plov-@gn.apc.org
Internet: http://tapol.gn.apc.org.htm
Defending victims of oppression in Indonesia,
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