15 Jun 2012

NZ Defence Force stays silent about Kopassus officer at its college

5:16 pm on 15 June 2012

The New Zealand Defence Force has refused to explain why a member of the Indonesian military's notorious special forces unit, Kopassus, has been in the country to receive training.

Major Edwin Sumanta recently attended New Zealand's premier military educational institution, the Command and Staff College in Trentham.

Kopassus conducts special operations for the Indonesian government and has been widely accused by human rights groups of committing rights violations in Papua and Aceh.

Radio New Zealand International was told by a NZDF spokesperson that the involvement of Major Sumanta in the College's course is too sensitive to comment on.

The Defence Force says course attendees are nominated by New Zealand's Defence Attaches and are cleared and vetted by the NZDF.

A member of Indonesia's Navy is attending the current Command and Staff College course.