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Human rights defender Munir Said Thalib … long-unsolved murder. Image: Sigid Kurniawan/Antara

By Alin Almanar in Jakarta

Activists will soon file an appeal with Indonesia’s Supreme Court against a ruling that overturned the state information body’s order to declassify the documents on the long-unsolved murder of prominent human rights defender Munir Said Thalib.

The State Secretariat, which is believed to be in possession of the files, has not obeyed the Public Information Commission’s command to make them public in October.

The Jakarta State Administrative Court overturned the commission’s order last Thursday.

According to human rights activists, the verdict legalises state crime.

“The verdict confirms that the state, through its various instruments, keeps on covering Munir’s case. We will file an appeal,” Munir’s wife Suciwati told the press in Jakarta at the weekend.

“The ruling has been surrounded by irregularities; the panel of judges did not examine the case openly, but only invited related parties to the verdict reading,” she added.


Thursday’s ruling has angered human rights activists, who have already been upset by the State Secretariat’s claim that it does not know the whereabouts of the files.

Fact-finding team
The secretariat is tasked with providing administrative assistance to the president. Activists insist that the case files were submitted by a fact-finding team to former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in June 2005.

Munir was poisoned with arsenic during a layover in Singapore in 2004 before boarding a flight to Amsterdam.

Former pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto was sentenced to 14 years in prison for premeditated murder, however, the masterminds behind the murder remain unknown.

The results of the fact-finding team’s investigation have never been made public.

Alin Almanar is a journalist with the Jakarta Globe.