Author: Christian

The first trial for a man accused of murdering a prominent politician is set to close in August

The first trial for a man accused of murdering a prominent politician is set to close in August

Indonesia murder trial puts spotlight on alleged police impunity

Jakarta (AP) – The first of two trials set to open for a man accused of murdering a prominent politician has drawn attention to a police force known for protecting powerful figures in the government and military, but little scrutiny or accountability.

Ana Wuhan is the first person to be tried for the killing, while former military chief Jusuf Kalla is also facing charges of being complicit in the killing. Both men face the death penalty if found guilty by a court.

The prosecution has not yet indicated a date of the first trial.

The court will hear testimony from a number of former law enforcement officers, including two former chiefs of police who were convicted in the 1990s for the slaying of former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, or Wan Aziz. The first of the two trials is scheduled to close in August.

Former Inspector General of Police Ansyarif Hidayat was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for the 1993 slaying of Ahok, which is considered to be Indonesia’s worst mass killing of the 20th century. Hidayat was allowed to retire after serving 19 years.

In 2007, then Inspector General of Police Bachtiar Amran on charge of corruption and other charges resigned from the post after the Supreme Court found him guilty of obstructing justice. An appeals court later found him guilty of misconduct, but kept him on the force. In August, the Supreme Court reinstated him in a judgment that was widely seen as a victory for President Joko Widodo’s administration.

Former Inspector General of Police Wirasakibau and his wife were accused of receiving money from Wan Aziz and his wife to be used in their defense at the time of the murder. They have since claimed they did not benefit from the payment.

Indonesia’s notoriously opaque criminal justice system has drawn widespread criticism in recent years. President Joko Widodo has promised greater accountability in his efforts to bolster public trust and bring an end to widespread criminality that has caused the economy to decline and undermined democracy.

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