Man jailed for killing activist on Amsterdam flight
20 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — An Indonesian court has sentenced a pilot to 14 years in jail for murdering a human rights activist on a flight to Amsterdam last year.
20 December 2005
AMSTERDAM — An Indonesian court has sentenced a pilot to 14 years in jail for murdering a human rights activist on a flight to Amsterdam last year.
Pollycarpus Priyanto, who was off-duty at the time, added arsenic into a glass of orange juice served to Munir Thalib, 38, during a flight on 7 September 2004, the court ruled. Pollycarpus was also found guilty of falsifying documents. The prosecution had sought a life sentence against him.
Judge Cicit Sutiarso said the crime was political as Munir was a critic of the government and military in Indonesia. The victim had been at the receiving end of numerous death threats over the years.
But the court did not deal with accusations made Munir's supporters that Indonesia's secret service was behind his killing.
An independent commission said earlier this year that it found indications the intelligence agency was involved, but this not mentioned by prosecutors, BBC reported. The defendant denied he was responsible and he claimed he was being made a scapegoat.
Munir, the 38-year-old human rights campaigner and founder of the human rights organization Kontras, became violently ill and died while on Garuda Flight 974 from Jakarta to Amsterdam. He was coming to the Netherlands to take up a scholarship to study international law at the Utrecht University.
Munir's wife said alleged connections between Pollycarpus and the intelligence service were ignored by the court. "They have to find the mastermind. Pollycarpus played only a small part in this conspiracy," she told the Associated Press after the verdict.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news, Munir, Indonesia