22 Apr 2003

Indonesian soldiers sentenced in Eluay murder trial

1:09 pm on 22 April 2003

Seven members of Indonesia's elite special forces have been jailed for their involvement in the killing of an independence leader in the province of Papua 17 months ago.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hartomo, the highest-ranking soldier on trial, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail.

The others received sentences of between two and three-and-a-half years.

The men were on trial over the killing of Theys Eluay, who was an advocate of an independent Papua, formerly Irian Jaya.

Mr Eluay was killed in November 2001 while being driven home from a dinner at the Kopassus special forces headquarters in the provincial capital, Jayapura.

His death inflamed separatist sentiment in Papua, where the military has long been accused of killing, torturing and raping civilians.