The former deputy chief of Indonesia's state intelligence agency has
been charged with the murder of prominent human rights activist Munir
Thalib. VOA Correspondent Nancy-Amelia Collins has more from Jakarta.
former top spy for Indonesia's National Intelligence Agency, Muchdi
Purwoprandjono, was formally charged in a Jakarta court Thursday with
ordering the murder of prominent human rights activist Munir Thalib.
say Muchdi abused his power and position by assigning an agent to kill
Munir, who died an agonizing death from arsenic poisoning, in 2004,
while on a flight to Amsterdam on board the nation's flag carrier,
Former Garuda pilot Pollycarpus Priyantois
serving 20 years for giving Munir the arsenic-laced drink while in
transit from Jakarta to Amsterdam.
Munir's wife, Suciwati, who
has campaigned relentlessly to see those responsible for her husband's
murder brought to justice, says she is hopeful this trial will reveal
the truth about Munir's death.
She says this trial is the first
step in revealing the masterminds behind Munir's murder. Suciwati has
always believed her husband was the victim of a state conspiracy
involving numerous individuals.
Muchdi is the only official from
the national spy agency to be linked to Munir's murder. If found
guilty, he could receive the death penalty.
Muchdi's trial represents major progress in the government's efforts to
uphold the rule of law and reform the corrupt judicial system.
says she has always known there was corruption in the judicial system,
but remained optimistic she could still find justice for her husband.
says she still believes there are good people capable of bringing
Munir's killers to justice and has remained hopeful that justice would
prevail so long as she continued to push the authorities.
prosecutor at Munir's trial, Silu Sinaga, alleged Muchdi ordered Munir
killed because he had exposed Muchdi's involvement in the kidnapping of
13 activists that led to his firing.
Munir angered Indonesia's
military and intelligence agency by exposing systematic human rights
abuses in the country, most especially in Aceh and Papua provinces.