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Secret documents link Hendropriyono, As'ad to Munir assassination (Hendropriyono Part 2)
Allannairn.org - November 24, 2014
Allan Nairn, Jakarta – General A.M. Hendropriyono, the CIA asset and presidential adviser, has been implicated by a secret report in the assassination of rights activist, Munir.
The report by an Indonesian government fact-finding commission led by a Police general found that Munir was an "operational target" of the intelligence unit Hendro led (BIN, Badan Intelijen Negara) and that an operation including "acts of terror" culminated in a "carefully planned" assassination.
("LAPORAN AKHIR, TIM PENCARI FAKTA [TPF] KASUS MENINGGALNYA MUNIR, [Keputusan President Nomor 111 Tahun 2004], Jakarta, 23 JUNI 2005" paragraphs 117, 118, 119, 146, 147).
The report referred Hendropriyono and other BIN personnel for criminal proceedings (paragraph 167) and revealed hitherto undisclosed evidence about the 2004 murder of the human rights legend. At the same time, another secret document has surfaced implicating Hendro's deputy, As'ad, in placing a BIN agent in position to kill Munir by slipping him a lethal dose of arsenic.
As'ad – with Hendro's backing – is a leading candidate to become the new BIN chief. The decision on the intelligence post is now being weighed by President Jokowi.
Though the documents are explosive on their face, they become still more significant when viewed together with other facts, including my interviews with the principals (e.g. Munir , As'ad , and Hendropriyono ).
Munir told me on April 5, 2002 that Hendro – like another US-backed general, Wiranto – was sending mobs to attack him.
This is consistent with the secret report's finding that Munir, since at least 2002, was a BIN "operational target," and that operations against him included "acts of terror" that were later escalated to outright murder. (paragraphs 117, 118, 146, 147).
As'ad told me on May 27, 2010, that he and BIN worked with a doctor named Irawan (he also gave me Irawan's cell phone number and told me the doctor was in Aceh), who was a former special forces (Kopassus) Lt. Colonel who had an expertise in poisons.
The secret report names Irawan along with Hendropriyono in connection with the "conspiracy to kill Munir" (paragraphs 167, 82, 83).
US cables indicated that police investigators had found that Irawan had "allegedly developed the arsenic used to murder Munir" (Cable 07JAKARTA1223_a, published by Wikilileaks) and that a BIN document showed that a Kopassus/BIN doctor who fit Irawan's description had attended a Hendropriyono-chaired assassination-planning session at BIN in which "They agreed that Munir should be finished off by poisoning his food or drink" (Cable 08JAKARTA1825_a).
Official investigators told me in 2010 that they believed Irawan handled the poison.
Hendro told me on October 16, 2014 that he had "command responsibility" for murdering Munir, but he attempted to deny that he had ordered the assassination or that he or BIN had cared about Munir. The secret report, however, refutes this claim at length.
It describes how BIN "gave special attention [to Munir] because Munir was regarded as having interfered with the interests of BIN" (paragraph 115). The report said that Munir had specifically interfered with Hendro's interests with a host of actions, including suing to stop his appointment as BIN chief (due to his command of the Talangsari massacre; See Hendropriyono: Part 1) and attempting to stop intelligence legislation that gave Hendro the power to issue guns and kidnap (paragraph 114).
When I asked Hendro if he had monitored Munir or if he had ever discussed Munir with the BIN men he flatly denied both, but the secret report shows that BIN documents and testimony refute this. The report says that Hendropriyono and his BIN third in command Gen. Muchdi approached two senior Munir associates in a futile attempt to stop Munir's attacks (paragraph 115).
The result of this failure, the report indicates, was a "careful" process of "planning to murder" that included choosing a "colorless, undetectable, odorless, quick-dissolving" poison, deploying the hands-on-assassin, and selecting the time and venue of killing in a manner that would make it difficult – or impossible – to save Munir and to assure that the killers would be able to "remove their traces" (paragraphs 119, 118-120, 137-145).
After being slipped arsenic at a coffee shop while in transit at the Singapore airport, Munir died, vomiting, in midair. They say he expired somewhere over Romania. His hands were beginning to turn blue.
Hendropriyono also admitted to me that – as the Washington Post had reported – he "worked very well with the CIA," carrying out kidnap/renditions for them and even meeting CIA chief George Tenet.
Both As'ad and Hendro told me that CIA and BIN had a "liaison relationship." That relationship was in place at the time of the murder (and may still be active today).
Hendro met CIA before and after the killing, but, interestingly, Hendro told me the CIA never asked him who killed Munir and never in any way reprimanded him.
Hendro also said, in response to my question, that though his BIN was the national intelligence agency they never conducted their own investigation of the assassination that became a global issue.
BIN's institutional sponsor, the US Government, publicly condemned Munir's assassination. But they did not mention that BIN, the unit reportedly behind it, had for years been on the US payroll.
The secret government report of the Tim Pencari Fakta (TPF) Munir can be read here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/248022727/The-Full-Secret-TPF-Report-on-the-Munir-Assassination.
The report was commissioned by the previous president, Gen. Susilo (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; "SBY"), but on – presumably – reading its contents, the General suppressed it.
A four-page summary and procedural fragments have previously leaked. This is the full 49-page, 1304-line report.
A report annex several hundred pages long will be published on this website shortly.
The following document is from the BIN computer system: http://www.scribd.com/doc/248023509/Draft-Secret-BIN-Asad-Letter.
It is the draft of a letter from As'ad ordering the Indonesian national airline, Garuda, to give cover and full access to the BIN agent, Pollycarpus.
In the guise of "internal security" and in the name of "national and state interest" the As'ad letter gave Polly the access he needed to get close to and poison Munir.
The edited, signed print-out of this letter was received by the Garuda director, Indra, but according to his testimony it later disappeared, as apparently did any copies that were officially archived in the files of BIN.
The As'ad letter print-out (as is sometimes done, it spells his name As'at) was obtained by police file-recovery experts from a hard drive of the BIN computers that were being used by the office of Hendro's number 3, Gen. Muchdi. A summary of the letter was referred to in the trial of Pollycarpus.
That proceeding and those against Muchdi were denounced by legal experts as farcical. There was open intimidation of witnesses, judges, and prosecutors, all the top BIN people (and President Megawati, to whom Hendro reported) – and BIN as an institution – got ignored, and key BIN witnesses who implicated Hendro or As'ad disappeared, recanted their testimony, fled the country and/or died.
Pollycarpus is in prison but could be released in two years. Muchdi was acquitted on appeal. Hendro's number 2 As'ad has not yet been charged – instead, he could end up promoted. Hendropriyono himself refused to cooperate and was left untouched.
But after I questioned him closely, in his home, this past October 16 Hendro admitted command responsibility (tanggung jawab komando) and said he was ready to stand trial for Munir, Talangsari and the '99 Timor terror.
Hendro also, when I pressed him, agreed that he was calling for the release of all documents held by the US or Indonesian governments relating to those three cases.
In the wake of the publication of Part 1 of my report on Hendro, I was called to the Indonesian government human rights commission KOMNASHAM (See Meeting Monday With Komnas HAM, the Indonesian Government Human Rights Commission), and Indonesian authorities have tried – but failed – to privately question Hendro.
KOMNASHAM took the unusual step of releasing their classified reports on seven atrocities, and there are indications that they are looking to revive the Munir case.
As'ad was originally slated to be named as BIN chief a month ago, but the BIN announcement has been delayed and delayed as Jokowi wrestles with the Hendro fallout.
Hendro has called associates to ask if he mishandled his interview with me. Some generals are said to be furious, feeling Hendro has endangered the system.
His admission of "command responsibility" indeed has implications for all his colleagues, since if Hendro has command responsibility for the assassination of Munir, then other generals have it too for atrocities by their subordinates.
Among those now drawn into this web is Gen. Ryamizard, the new Defense Minister, who bears such responsibility for massacres during the Aceh State of Emergency. (Ryamizard openly defends such murders. See: Gen. Ryamizard, the Ideologist for Killing Civilians).
There are also deep implications for the US government and the CIA. If their man, Hendro, killed Munir, they bear responsibility. "Tanggung jawab komando" extends to Washington as well.
Indonesian prosecutors have the right to subpoena US personnel and documents. They also have the right to indict US officials as accomplices to murder.
Jokowi's pick as attorney general has been derided as a political hack. But that official, Prasetyo, made an interesting point.
The new attorney general said he was a "puppet," awaiting orders from the president. And he's right, the president sets policy.
The question now becomes: whither Jokowi? Is he brave enough to stop the killers? And, if he isn't, will the people make him?
Coming Up: Hendropriyono: Part 3