An Indonesian former airline pilot who was convicted within the 2004 midair poisoning loss of life of a outstanding human rights activist has died of Covid-19, an legal professional for the pilot’s household mentioned on Sunday.
The use of poison to kill a political goal, a way extra just lately employed by Russia and North Korea, eradicated the activist, Munir Said Thalib, who had been one of many Indonesian army’s most vocal critics. And the homicide, carried out on a business flight of the state service, Garuda Indonesia, by one in every of its pilots, shocked the newly democratic nation.
The pilot, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, 59, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for his position within the homicide. He ended up serving eight years and was launched in 2014. Human rights activists accused him of working for Indonesia’s intelligence company and have lengthy referred to as for an intensive investigation.
Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch mentioned, “The death of secret agent Pollycarpus is a stark reminder that the masterminds behind the Munir killing have evaded justice.”
An legal professional for Mr. Pollycarpus’s household, Wirawan Adnan, mentioned that Mr. Pollycarpus died of Covid-19 on Saturday, 16 days after he was hospitalized at a hospital in Jakarta.
Activists referred to as for an investigation to find out the reason for loss of life.
“His death needs to be properly investigated by the competent authorities,” mentioned Usman Hamid, government director of Amnesty International Indonesia. “As a person who was convicted of being a field actor, Pollycarpus certainly had a lot of information regarding the Munir murder case, especially information about his superiors and the people who ordered him.”
Mr. Munir, 38, sought justice for victims of human rights abuses below the dictator, Suharto, who stepped down in 1998.
At the time of his loss of life, he was touring to Amsterdam to start a research program. Mr. Pollycarpus, who was off obligation, traveled on the identical Garuda flight from Jakarta.
Prosecutors mentioned that Mr. Pollycarpus had upgraded Mr. Munir’s seat to enterprise class, the place it will be simpler to manage the poison, and slipped arsenic right into a glass of orange juice.
Mr. Pollycarpus all the time maintained his innocence. Mr. Wirawan, the legal professional, mentioned that his shopper had been convicted due to stress from human rights teams however that the actual killer had by no means been caught.
“I believe that Munir was murdered,” Mr. Wirawan mentioned. “But I don’t believe that Pollycarpus was the murderer.”