14 May 2002

Indonesian police arrest Kopassus sergeant for trying to kill Papuan witness

4:57 pm on 14 May 2002

Indonesian military police say they have arrested a member of the Kopassus elite force for trying to kill a witness in the murder case of the Papuan separatist leader, Theys Eluay.

They told the Indonesian media that they arrested a sergeant for attempting to execute the witness in Jayapura on Friday.

They say the sergeant shot and missed, adding that the witness is now under protection at their headquarters.

The witness had worked as a causal employee at the Kopassus base where Chief Eluay had been for a dinner shortly before he was killed.

The witness told a police investigation that he saw chief Eluay's driver, Aristoteles Masuka, at the base after the abduction of Chief Eluay.

Mr Masuka reported the abduction and is widely seen as a key witness but his whereabouts are now unknown.