The Attorney General’s Office plans to examine alleged gross human rights violations in 1965 and the killings of civilians by snipers from 1982 to 1985.
Andhi Nirwanto, the assistant attorney general for special crimes, said the case examination will follow official guidelines relating to human rights violations investigations. Documents relating to the cases have been sent between the AGO and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), which has previously investigated the matters, to collect missing data.
“We will examine the case first to determine the conclusion [on whether the documents will be returned to Komnas HAM],” Andhi said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
He claimed Komnas HAM had not followed the official guidelines regarding the documents. He said that the handling of gross human rights violations cases had to be conducted based on a specific legal method.
“Law No 26/2000 on the trial of human rights cases is special. There are special regulations for it,” he said.
The AGO said the documents were originally incomplete because Komnas HAM investigators had not been sworn in when conducting the investigation. It said that the initial report also failed to identify the people responsible for the human rights violations.
Komnas HAM accused the AGO of making excuses, claiming that AGO investigators were not sworn in when they conducted their investigation into the 1984 Tanjung Priok killings. That report was accepted and the case was brought to court.
“Our job is to investigate, and the result showed a preliminary indication of the reconstruction of the events [amounting to human rights violations],” Komnas HAM commissioner Nurkholis said.
He also said that Komnas HAM’s report had identified which institution were responsible for the 1965 violations and the 1980s shootings known as petrus , a portmanteau meaning “mysterious shootings.”
Nurkholis pointed the finger at the Operational Command for Restoration of Security and Order (Kopkamtib), the pervasive security network set up by Suharto when he assumed the presidency.
“It’s the investigators’ job to find who they think is responsible. It’s easy. Just take a look at the data, at the organizational structure of the Kopkamtib,” he said.
Komnas HAM offered two solutions in its report. Nurkholis said that solving the cases legally would mean dragging the violators to court to account for their actions. Responsibility for finding a resolution beyond the legal system, he added, lies with government institutions beyond the AGO.
“The non-legal [solution] recommendation is reconciliation, for instance. But this requires a national commitment,” Nurkholis said.
Andhi said that the law does not currently allow for reconciliation outside of the law.
“A legal ground is needed for the reconciliation, and in this case it’s a law,” said Andhi.
To carry out the reconciliation, the government and lawmakers have to issue a new law governing it, he said.