PAPUAN SENTENCED TO LIFE TERM OVER MINE KILLINGS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 7) – Antonius Wamang, found guilty of orchestrating the killings of two American teachers at a gold mine operated by U.S.-based company Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. in Indonesia’s Papua province, has been sentenced to life in prison.

The judge in the Central Jakarta District Court said Wamang deserved life behind bars instead of the 20 years demanded by prosecutors because he planned the ambush.

Prosecutors had claimed seven men - all indigenous Papuans - were members of a small rebel army fighting for a separate state in the resource-rich province.

[PIR editor’s note: Armed Papuan villagers in February shut down the mine, saying they have not been properly compensated for the land being mined for gold.]

Verdicts for the other six men are expected later today.

The defendants have remained silent throughout the course of their five-month trial.

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