October 17, 2007

New Testimony in Indonesia Activist Death

A “massive” dose of arsenic in an airline meal took the life of a prominent critic of the Indonesian government, and now may send a former airline executive to jail for decades.

The Times of London reports that an off-duty Garuda Air pilot was initially convicted of the “agonizing” mid-flight death of Munir Said Thalib in 2004, who was en route to Amsterdam to present a report on military abuses in Indonesia’s Aceh and Papua provinces.

The pilot made more than 40 phone calls to a director of Indonesia’s spy agency immediately prior to Thalib’s death, but was later acquitted by the Supreme Court for lack of evidence.

Now, Indra Setiawan, former head of Garuda Air head, has testified that he received a letter signed by a deputy chief of Indonesian intelligence, requesting that the pilot serve as the security officer on Thalib’s last flight.

Meanwhile, activists say Thalib’s wife since been targeted by death threats, and was sent a decapitated chicken along with a note not to implicate the military in her husband’s death.

Source:

“Airline meal ‘used to kill activist'”
The Times (UK), October 10, 2007

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