Bekasi FPI Leader Murhali Implicated in Stabbing of HKBP Church Elder
Jakarta. The head of the Bekasi branch of the Islamic Defenders Front is being questioned over his alleged involvement in the stabbing of an elder from the Batak Protestant Christian Church in Bekasi on the outskirts of the Indonesian capital.
Jakarta Police Spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar told the Jakarta Globe that Murhali Barda was accompanied by Munarman, spokesman for the hard-line group, also known as the FPI, when he arrived for questioning on Tuesday.
“[Murhali] has been questioned since Tuesday evening because he is alleged to be involved in the stabbing,” Boy said, adding that Murhali could be named a suspect for his alleged role in the attack that has made headlines around the world.
“The result of Murhali’s questioning will be announced at 2 p.m today,” Boy said.
Upon arriving at the Jakarta Police headquarters, Munarman said Murhali had turned himself in as a “gentleman” because his name was mentioned by witnesses.
“He might not be guilty but because his name was mentioned [by witnesses], he came here as a gentleman,” Munarman said.
National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri on Tuesday said nine suspects had been detained in connection with Sunday’s attack.
But speaking to journalists after reporting to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Bambang said the motive for the violence, which targeted a reverend and an elder of the church, also known as HKBP, remained unclear.
“We still don’t know the motive behind the attacks or the veracity of suspicions about the involvement of certain mass organizations. But clearly this is a criminal case since we have victims,” he said.