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JAKARTA, Indonesia (December 28, 2001 – Jakarta Post/Joyo Indonesian News/TAPOL)---National Police chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar admitted Friday that the police had encountered difficulties in uncovering evidence in its investigation into the Nov. 11 murder of Irian Jaya independence activist Theys Hiyo Eluay.

"There are no grounds for the police to be afraid or reluctant to uncover the murder of Theys Hiyo Eluay," Da'i said at the National Police Headquarters, as quoted by El-Shinta radio station.

"The only problem is obstacles to uncovering the evidence," he added.

He said that the police could not base their investigation into the murder case on assumptions, but on hard evidence.

There has been speculation that the police have found it difficult to unravel the case as it involved clandestine operations in the military.

Theys was found dead in the late evening of Nov. 11 after having attended a National Heroes commemoration at the Jayapura headquarters of the Army's Special Force (Kopassus).

Kopassus chief Maj. Gen. Amirul Isnaeni has dismissed allegations that his men were involved in the Theys' murder.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to help the police with the investigation, the Army Headquarters had sent a five-member team to Irian Jaya. The team, which left for the Irian Jaya capital of Jayapura on Wednesday evening, is led by Army Intelligence Chief Brig. Gen. Sardas Markus.

Paul Barber TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 01420 80153 Email: plovers@gn.apc.org  Internet: www.gn.apc.org/tapol 

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