Indonesian police general charged with premeditated murder of bodyguard

JAKARTA: The Indonesian National Police has charged two-star general Ferdy Sambo with premeditated murder, after his bodyguard died at the general’s house last month of multiple gunshot wounds.

National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo and six other police generals held a press conference on Tuesday night (Aug 9) to update the public regarding the case. 

Earlier, Mr Sambo was suspended from his position as chief of internal affairs.

“The special task force (for the case) has named FS as a suspect,” Mr Prabowo said, referring to Mr Sambo by his initials. 

Mr Prabowo added that Mr Sambo and three of his subordinates have been charged with premeditated murder. 

He said there is evidence that Mr Sambo ordered his subordinates to shoot and kill Mr Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat, 27. Besides multiple gunshot wounds, the latter was also found with bruises and cuts on his body.

Speaking at the same press conference on Tuesday, head of the criminal investigation agency Commissioner General Agus Andrianto said that the four suspects could face the death penalty.  

“The maximum is the death penalty, life imprisonment, or a maximum imprisonment of 20 years,” said Mr Andrianto.

The unusual death of Mr Hutabarat at the home of his superior has gripped the nation.

Mr Hutabarat, a police sergeant assigned to guard Mr Sambo’s family, died on Jul 8 but police only disclosed the incident on Jul 11.

The police initially said that Mr Hutabarat was killed by another police officer in a shootout at Mr Sambo’s home as he had tried to sexually assault Mr Sambo’s wife.

But Mr Prabowo said during the Tuesday press conference that there was no shootout and that Mr Sambo had created the scenario to cover up the murder.

The police are still establishing Mr Sambo’s motive for the murder, he added.

After the press conference, Coordinating Minister for Politics, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD said on Tuesday night that the case is “a bit special”. 

He said that for now, the police have managed to establish that the main suspect is Mr Sambo. 

“Related to the motive, the investigators will reveal it later because it is currently being investigated. 

“The motives may also be too sensitive (to be mentioned publicly),” said the minister.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo reiterated that the police must solve the case. 

“Don’t cover anything. Tell the truth,” he said. 

“Don’t let the public reduce their trust in the police.”

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