Police Set Up Antasari, Says Key Witness in Former Indonesia Antigraft Czar’s Trial
The murder trial of Antasari Azhar was thrown into an uproar on Tuesday when a key witness claimed that police had set up Indonesia’s former anti-corruption czar to be the main suspect of their investigation into the high-profile murder of businessman Nasrudin Zulkarnaen.
Wiliardi Wizar, a middle-rank National Police officer and a co-defendant in the murder, was supposed to testify against Antasari. Instead, he said that he had been forced by National Police and Jakarta city police investigators to make statements that would implicate Antasari, who was chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) at the time of the March 14 murder.
“I swear in the name of God that [police told me], ‘Our target is only Antasari’,” Wiliardi said, describing his interrogation at Jakarta Police headquarters after his arrest in late April.
Wiliardi, a former South Jakarta district police chief, told the court that he was shown the dossier of another co-defendant in the murder, businessman Sigid Haryo Wibisono, and was persuaded by police to make confessions to match that dossier.
“They read Sigid’s dossier to me and said, ‘Let’s make yours just the same.’ Therefore, my own dossier is full of lies,” Wiliardi said.
Antasari, Sigid, Wiliardi, and a middleman named Jerry Hermawan were put on trial separately last month for allegedly conspiring to kill Nasrudin, an executive of state-owned company. Antasari allegedly ordered the execution after Nasrudin threatened to blackmail him over an affair with the businessman’s third wife, Rani Juliani, who is a local golf caddy.
Wiliardi is accused of recruiting men to carry out an ambush on Nasrudin’s car as he left a golf course in Tangerang where she worked. Nasrudin died of gunshot wounds the following day.
In his court testimony, Wiliardi also said that Hadiatmoko, the National Police’s deputy chief of detectives at that time, promised he would only receive internal disciplinary action and escape detention if he agreed to cooperate in the investigation.
“I was asked to give testimony [during the interrogation] against Antasari and was promised I could go home in exchange. I feel sorry for the defendant because of my dossier,” Wiliardi said.
His testimony could deal another blow to the National Police, which is already under fire for its handling of an investigation against two KPK deputy chairmen, after wiretapped telephone conversations suggest that police had plotted to frame the duo.
“God never sleeps. I am being tyrannized but the truth has started to emerge. Allahu Akbar,” a tearful Antasari said after Wiliardi’s testimony.
“My client was really shocked by Wiliardi’s remarks,” said defense lawyer Juniver Girsang. “Now we’ve all heard that the police have set up a case against Antasari.”
However, Sigid, testifying last week for the prosecution, said that Antasari had asked him to provide money to finance the murder.
Speaking separately, National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Nanan Soekarna said that Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri was not involved in any plot to fabricate a case against Antasari.
“Antasari filed a report in 2008 with National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri demanding investigation into the threats he had received [from Nasruin] as a state official,” Nanan said. “The National Police chief then set up a team to investigate led by Sr. Comr. Chairul Anwar, but this team was dismissed after Antasari refused to file official compliant with the police.”
Earlier Tuesday, Chairul also testified at Antasari’s trial, saying that on Jan. 5, when he was the South Jakarta police chief, Danuri personally ordered him to launch an investigation into Nasrudin based on Antasari’s complaints. Chairul said that Antasari asked him to find out whether Rani was really Nasrudin’s wife, and whether Nasrudin used drugs.
“Police interrogated the couple during their visit to Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, and learned that Nasrudin didn’t use drugs and that they were husband and wife,” Chairul told the court.