[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Mar 21 08:22:10 CST 2005
Garuda pilot may face death penalty over Munir's death
Lawyers for a pilot arrested over the poisoning of one of Indonesia's
leading human rights activists said Monday the airman may face the death
penalty if convicted.
Pollycarpus Priyanto, a pilot with national airline Garuda Indonesia, was
arrested last week by police probing the mysterious death of activist
Munir on a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam last September.
Priyanto emerged as the key suspect in the death after he gave his
business class seat to Munir on the first leg of the flight from Jakarta
to Singapore, during which the activist is believed to have been given
Lawyer Suhadi Sumomoelyono said police were considering whether to charge
the pilot with premeditated murder which carries a maximum penalty of
death and a minimum of 20 years in jail.
"Police have informed my client of the use of those articles while his
charge sheet is being prepared. They are still trying to determine his
role in the case through interrogations," the lawyer said.
Police could not be reached immediately for confirmation.
Priyanto earlier claimed he was travelling on the flight to Singapore to
check on a Garuda 747 jet with landing gear problems. He backed his claim
with a letter of authorisation from the airline.
However a government-sanctioned fact-finding team probing the death has
said the letter was falsified by Garuda after the death, accusing the
airline of a cover-up.
Sumomoelyono voiced concerns last week his client had been set up to
protect others involved in a wider conspiracy.
Munir was known as a fearless campaigner, exposing abuses by the country's
He also provided legal counsel for victims of officially-sanctioned
violence during former president Suharto's 32-year rule that ended in
(source: Agence France Presse)
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