Sunday June 16, 2024

Indonesia charges Pole suspected in Papua arms smuggling plot

By Reuters
September 11, 2018

JAKARTA: A Pole detained in Indonesia late last month could face life imprisonment having been charged with plotting against the state after being named as a suspect in a conspiracy to smuggle arms to separatists in Papua, a police spokesman said on Monday.

Jakub Fabian Skrzypski was detained on Aug 26 and is being held at police headquarters in the eastern province of Papua where he has been charged along with three Papuans under the law governing treason, which carries a maximum sentence of life in jail. "He has been charged with treason," Papua police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said.

Police allege that Skrzypski, who entered the country on a tourist visa, discussed an arms deal in a meeting with a separatist leader, who is based in neighbouring Papua New Guinea and has not been detained.

Police had evidence from witnesses and mobile phone messages and they had also found video showing Skrzypski participating in shooting practice, the spokesman said.

Papua, one of Indonesia’s poorest provinces has battled a long-running separatist movement since it was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticized UN-backed referendum in 1969 and it remains the country’s most heavily militarised region.