10 Jun 2003

Director of Papua human rights group to face defamation charges

10:07 am on 10 June 2003

The director of the human rights group, Elsham, in Indonesia's Papua province will appear in court on Wednesday on charges of defamation against the Kopassus elite military unit.

The charges were laid by the commander of the local military unit over accusations made by Yohanes Bonay that members of the Kopassus were behind last year's fatal shooting of Freeport mine employees.

Last August, a bus carrying Freeport employees was ambushed, killling two Americans and an Indonesian and wounding eleven others.

Investigations conducted by Elsahm suggested that the army was behind the incident despite military claims that Free Papua or OPM rebels orchestrated the ambush.

Mr Bonay says he is ready fo face the charge and has a team of lawyers to accompany him in court.