JAKARTA, Indonesia (The Jakarta Post/Irian News, Jan. 6) – Sources say the Indonesia government will likely establish a joint investigative team to probe the Aug. 31 fatal ambush in Timika after the police and the military submitted contradictory reports in their investigations.

The unsolved killings claimed the lives of two American teachers and one Indonesian.

Several military top brass and high-ranking police officers held a closed-door meeting on Sunday at the offices of the coordinating minister for political and security affairs to discuss the results of their separate investigations.

Representatives from both the military and police investigative teams presented all evidence they found on site, but they could not decide who was responsible for the attack at the mining site operated by American-owned PT Freeport Indonesia.

The meeting also failed to decide on the motives behind the attack.

Indonesian Military (TNI) spokesman Maj. Gen. Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin said Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, TNI chief Gen. Endriartono Sutarto and National Police chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar would discuss the matter with President Megawati Soekarnoputri on Monday.

"All decisions regarding a further investigation will be decided then," Sjafrie said after the meeting.

A source at the meeting said that if a joint investigative team was formed, it would not include officers from abroad, such as agents from the U.S. Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI).

The U.S. administration has asked for the establishment of a Bali-style joint investigative team so that FBI agents would be allowed to participate.

"If the FBI insists on joining us, they could just provide technical assistance," the source told The Jakarta Post.

Attending the meeting were, among others, Army chief Gen. Ryamiard Ryacudu, Navy chief Admiral Bernard Kent Sondakh, TNI's Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS) chief Vice Marshal Ian Santoso, TNI chief of General Affairs Lt. Gen. Djamari Chaniago, National Police chief of detectives Comr. Gen. M.A. Erwin Mappaseng and National Military Police Commander Maj. Gen. Sulaiman AB.

According to one source at the meeting, National Military Police Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hendardji reported that they had found some 90 bullet cases at the site. Shots were believed to have been made from several spots in the jungle near the location.

"Nevertheless, Hendardji did not mention any names or groups that are responsible for the ambush," the source told The Jakarta Post.

Hendardji was assigned to Papua on Dec. 23 to conduct a thorough investigation into the ambush amid conflicting conclusions that resulted from the local military and police investigative teams.

The police disclosed that they had found evidence linking the Army to the deadly ambush.

TNI, however, has rejected the accusation and pointed a finger at the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM).

January 6, 2003

Irian News 

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