6 Mar 2003

Indonesian prosecutors demand jail terms for up to 3 year for Theys Eluay killing

5:51 pm on 6 March 2003

Indonesian military prosecutors have demanded a 2 and a half year jail term for the highest-ranking Kopassus soldier on trial for the killing of the Papuan pro-independence leader, Theys Eluay, in 2001.

Seven members of Kopassus are on trial for the killing.

The prosecutors are also demanding a similar prison term for another mid-ranking officer and terms ranging from two to three years for five lower-ranking soldiers.

They say they could not prove the primary murder charge against Lieutenant-Colonel Hartomo but say he ordered Major Doni Hutabarat and five of his troops to hurt Mr Eluay.

The prosecutors have called for a three year term for private Ahmad Zulfahmi who they said suffocated Mr Eluay in his car after a row over Jakarta's promise to offer more autonomy to Papua.

Zulfahmi's defence lawyers have argued that he did not suffocate the Papuan leader, but had tried to silence him by putting his hand over Mr Eluay's mouth because he was screaming during the quarrel.