By Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie in Jakarta
An Indonesian government-sanctioned joint fact-finding team has reported that it found indications that security forces were involved in the shooting of Papuan pastor Yeremia Zanambani after investigating a series of shootings in Intan Jaya regency, Papua.
The team gave its findings to the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Human Rights Minister this week and Coordinating Minister Mahfud MD disclosed several key points from the 14-day investigation.
“Regarding the killing of pastor Yeremia Zanambani on September 19, the information and facts obtained by the team in the field indicate the alleged involvement of elements of security forces, even though there’s also a possibility that a third party was behind [the killing],” Mahfud said during a press conference.
Additionally, the team reported that an “armed criminal group” – a description frequently given to pro-independence rebels – was allegedly behind the killings of two military officers and a civilian on September 17.
Mahfud said the government would follow up on the findings, ordering the National Police and Attorney-General’s Office to solve the cases by following the applicable criminal and state administrative laws.
The coordinating minister would also pass on the findings to the National Police, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the State Intelligence Agency for further investigation.
Furthermore, Mahfud also recommended that the government equip vulnerable areas with better security to provide safety to locals.
No witnesses found
National Police Commission (Kompolnas) head and fact-finding team chief Benny Mamoto said that the team found no eyewitnesses of Zanambani’s killer and that the team was open to all possibilities regarding who was behind the killings.
“There are findings from this fact-finding team that are very, very significant. From my perspective, it should not take [law enforcement] a long time to start investigating them,” Mamoto said during the conference.
The team concluded its field investigation last week after conducting crime scene investigations and questioning around 42 witnesses.
During the fieldwork, two members of the team, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) lecturer Bambang Purwoko and TNI soldier First Sgt. Faisal Akbar, were wounded after being shot at by a pro-independence group, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB).
Previously, the Indonesian Communion of Churches, the Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church (GKII) and local media in Papua said that Yeremia was allegedly shot by TNI personnel on his way to his pig pen on September 19, at the same time a military operation was reportedly taking place.
Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie reports for The Jakarta Post.