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Ex-Garuda boss jailed over murder

11 February 08 16:31 GMT

An Indonesian court has sentenced the former boss of the national airline to one year in jail for his part in the murder of a prominent rights activist.

Indra Setiawan, the former CEO of Garuda Airlines, was found guilty of being an accessory to the pre-mediated murder of activist Munir Said Thalib.

Munir was poisoned by an off-duty Garuda pilot while flying from Jakarta to Amsterdam in 2004.

The pilot was jailed for 20 years last month, after being initially acquitted.

Spy link?

The court found Mr Setiawan had abused his position to enable the pilot, Pollycarpus Priyanto, to board the flight and give Munir a deadly arsenic-laced drink.

Mr Setiawan had previously told the court that the national spy agency, known as BIN, had asked him to put Priyanto on the flight as a security agent.

Human rights groups have long accused BIN of involvement in the murder, something it firmly denies.

The case has drawn widespread international attention, and analysts see it as a test of how far the Indonesian government has reformed since the fall of the Suharto-era administration.

Munir was an outspoken critic of Indonesia's military and its methods of quashing dissent and separatism in provinces such as Aceh and Papua.

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