16 Jul 2009

Indonesia's military to join investigation of Freeport killing in Papua

1:15 pm on 16 July 2009

An Indonesian sociologist has suggested that the Indonesian military staged a series of ambush killings last weekend near the Freeport McMoRan gold and copper mine in Papua.

This comes after reports the Indonesian military will join the police in investigating the attacks which left three dead in Timika last weekend.

George Aditjondro claims that Indonesia's security forces staged the attacks as a move to drive up the price for providing security to the Freeport operations by showing Freeport how vulnerable it is.

Mr Aditjondro doubts that the Indonesian military will be able to conduct a credible investigation, saying their mishandling of the probe into the 2002 killings in Timika in which they exonerated their own officers proves they should not participate.

Many commentators have drawn parallels with the 2002 attack after the weekend shootings which left three dead, including two Freeport employees, and at least seven others injured.

The ambushes were carried out in the same three-kilometre radius as the 2002 attack, and also involved security forces weaponry.

US and Indonesian investigators found that Papuan separatists were behind the 2002 attack but local rights groups have long maintained the military had a hand in the killings.