Kei Goes From Hospital to Hands Of Prosecutors
Officers from the Mobile Brigade unit accompanied Jakarta Police investigators as they handed reputed gang leader John Kei, a suspect in the murder of a steel company president, to the Jakarta Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday.
“Aside from handing over the three suspects —John Kei, Yosef Hungan and Muklis — we also submitted the evidence,” said Toni Harmanto, the head of the Jakarta Police’s criminal unit.
Kei and the two other suspects were taken to the prosecutors’ office in separate vehicles. They were accompanied by their attorneys.
Kei, who had been controversially transferred to the police hospital in East Jakarta on Friday, was released on Tuesday night and moved to Jakarta Police headquarters.
The move came as Toni said the case file on Kei was complete and the suspect was ready for prosecution.
Kei’s lawyer had threatened earlier on Tuesday to send supporters to occupy Jakarta Police headquarters unless his client was released from the hospital.
“He must be transferred immediately,” Kei’s brother and lawyer, Tito Refra, said after meeting members of House of Representatives Commission III, which oversees legal affairs. “If not,” he added, “I will send as many people as possible to police headquarters.”
Tito was upset because the police had transferred Kei to the hospital without disclosing his illness. He accused the police of transferring Kei as a ploy to keep him in custody beyond the 120 days allowed under the law.
Kei is the main suspect in the murder of Tan Harry Tantono, the president of Sanex Steel. The 51-year-old victim was found dead with stab wounds to his neck and stomach at the Swiss-Belhotel in Central Jakarta on Jan. 26. It is unclear if Kei and the suspect knew each other or what motive Kei may have had.
Kei was scheduled to be released from police custody last Friday, but just as he was about to complete his 120-day detention period, police transferred him to Sukamto Police Hospital. The transfer was made after the police claimed that Kei was suffering from an unnamed illness.
Time spent in the hospital does not count as time served in custody, effectively extending Kei’s detention.
“The police are abusing their authority,” Tito said on Tuesday. “Sending Kei to the hospital is illegal incarceration. “To this day, the police have still not notified his lawyers or family about the nature of the illness.”
Tito met with House Commission III members to seek the assistance of lawmakers in securing Kei’s release.
“Did our client ask to be sent to the hospital? No he didn’t,” Tito told the lawmakers. “The police came to his cell and took him by force. We have to fight this. If Kei is not returned to his cell we will come with demonstrators.”