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Bid to reopen Munir murder case

16 August 07 10:26 GMT
By Rebecca Henschke
BBC News, Jakarta

Prosecutors have asked Indonesia's Supreme Court to reopen a case against the sole suspect in the death of human rights activist Munir Thalib.

Munir was poisoned as he flew from Jakarta to Amsterdam in September 2004.

Prosecutors say they have new evidence which proves that a former pilot with Garuda airlines was involved.

They told the court that the pilot, Pollycarpus Priyanto, had ties with the state intelligence agency, and that the agency planned to kill Munir.

Last year, the Supreme Court overturned a conviction against Mr Pollycarpus due to a lack of evidence.

At the same time it upheld a ruling that he used false documents to board the same flight as Munir.

Mr Pollycarpus has continually denied any involvement in the murder.

But prosecutors say they will bring forward five new witnesses, including an intelligence agent, Raden Mohammad Patma Anwar, who claims that he was ordered by a superior to kill Munir before presidential elections in October 2004, a month before his death.

A prominent human rights activist, 38-year-old Munir earned his reputation for exposing Indonesian military abuses - particularly relating to East Timor's struggle for independence and separatist movements in Papua and Aceh.

Moves to reopen the Munir case come as Indonesia faces mounting international pressure to solve his murder.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called it a test case for the nation.

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