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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Munir murder conviction quashed
Munir (picture courtesy Right Livelihood Award)
Munir was poisoned on a flight to the Netherlands
An Indonesian pilot sentenced to 14 years for murdering prominent rights activist Munir has had his conviction quashed by the Supreme Court.

Pollycarpus Priyanto was found guilty of poisoning a glass of orange juice served to Munir Thalib during a flight to Amsterdam in September 2004.

But the Supreme Court ruled there was not enough evidence to convict him.

However, the court did find him guilty of falsifying documents, for which he was sentenced to two years jail.

A district-level court had sentenced Priyanto last December and the judgement was confirmed by an appeals court.

Iconic activist

But the Supreme Court judgement will be likely to throw the case open once more as nobody but Priyanto was sentenced over the killing.

Munir, a prominent and vocal critic of the government and the military, died of arsenic poisoning as he flew to Amsterdam to begin studying for a Master's degree in September 2004.

A prominent human rights activist, Munir earned his reputation during the years of the Suharto dictatorship, when he frequently clashed with Indonesia's entrenched interests.

He once said that he had "lost count" of the number of death threats he had received.

His refusal to bow to pressure had earned him iconic status among other dissidents who suffered for their decision to challenge the authorities.

His death, at 38 years of age, enraged many Indonesians.


SEE ALSO
Indonesia pilot jailed for murder
20 Dec 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Munir murder motive 'made up'
16 Aug 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Spies implicated in Munir death
23 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Munir Thalib
20 Dec 05 |  Asia-Pacific
'Munir killers considered sorcery'
14 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Indonesia
15 Sep 05 |  Country profiles

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