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Aussie employee third victim near notorious Freeport Mine

By Geoff Thompson

JAKARTA, Indonesia (Radio Australia, July 14, 2009) – A doctor who examined the body of an Australian man shot dead in Indonesia's Papua province says evidence may have been removed from the scene.

The body of 29-year Drew Grant, of Melbourne, Australia, arrived at RSCM hospital in Jakarta 16 hours after he died in an attack along a road to the Freeport mine.

The autopsy was conducted by independent forensic specialist Dr Abdul Mun'im Idries, in the presence of Australian consular officials.

Dr Mun'im Idries has told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation it is possible bullets were removed from Mr Grant's remains before they were examined in Jakarta.

He also says Mr Grant was hit by four bullets, putting his findings at odds with police reports.

Indonesian police say Mr Grant was shot five times by unknown assailants using military-issue weapons.

He says he could not find any intact bullets - only fragments - in the body, leading him to suspect they may have been removed.

Asked whether there was any evidence the body had been manipulated, Dr Mun'im Idries responded: "It's possible."

He says Mr Grant was shot four times, twice in the neck and twice in the chest. The wounds indicated he was shot from above at a distance, except for one that came from below, possibly a ricocheting bullet.

"There is two directions, yes. Maybe one, but maybe more than one shooter," the doctor said.

Mr Grant and his wife had recently had a baby, and he was due to welcome his family back to Papua in a few days.

So far three people have been killed in violence near the Freeport gold and copper mine

Authorities on Monday pulled the body of an Indonesian policeman from a ravine near the mine.

Police say the policeman's body was found roughly 20 kilometres from the site where Mr Grant was killed on Saturday and a Freeport guard, Markus Ratealo, was killed in a gun fight on Sunday.

Australian Federal Police are in Indonesia assisting in the investigation of Mr Grant's murder.

Two other company employees were critically injured and being treated in hospital.

Members of the Free Papua Movement, or OPM, have denied any responsibility for the first two deaths.

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