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War crime suspects get promoted


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"Without enough international pressure, there won't be enough domestic political will for justice,'' says Asmara Nababan, the head of Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights.

Last year, Mr. Nababan helped write a report for the government that recommended senior generals and militia leaders be tried for crimes against humanity, among them former Armed Forces Commander in Chief, General Wiranto. Many of the officers were named suspects in crimes against humanity by the Indonesian Attorney General Marzuki Darusman more than a year ago, but continue to be given expanded roles.

Mr. Darusman last month dropped efforts to charge Wiranto, now honorably retired from the military, citing lack of evidence. Wiranto has been focusing on his singing career, releasing his first album last year, a collection of love songs called "For You, My Indonesia."

But the attorney general continues prosecution efforts against Major Gen. Adam Damiri, Brig. Gen. Tono Suratman, Brig. Gen. M. Nur Muis, and police Brig. Gen. Timbul Silaen.

General Damiri was the most senior general with direct command in East Timor in 1999. He has been promoted to Army assistant of operations. In March he was made the senior officer in charge of a troop deployment against rebels in Aceh. His direct subordinate, General Suratman, who was the senior commander in East Timor for most of 1999, was promoted to colonel after leaving East Timor.

General Muis replaced Suratman in 1999, and was the controlling authority during the rampage in the territory in September. He was promoted from colonel to brigadier general. Silaen was the senior police officer in East Timor in 1999, and was promoted to brigadier general. He is currently head of the national police's antinarcotics taskforce.

Yacob Sarosa, the commander of Battalion 745, the unit believed to have murdered Thoenes, has been promoted from major to lieutenant colonel. The government has not pressed charges against any member of Battalion 745.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor


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