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AFP
November 10, 2019

Indonesian executive arrested over journalist killings

World

AFP
November 10, 2019

JAKARTA: An Indonesian palm oil executive has been arrested for allegedly ordering the killing two activist journalists who were mediating a land dispute between his company and local residents, police said on Saturday.

Maraden Sianipar’s body was found last week in a ditch near a palm plantation in Labuhan Batu in North Sumatra province.

Police found the remains of his colleague, Maratua Siregar, in the same area a day later. Both had been stabbed multiple times.

On Saturday, North Sumatra authorities said they had arrested businessman Wibharry Padmoasmolo for allegedly masterminding the plot by paying nearing $3,000 to four men to commit the killings. Padmoasmolo owns a firm that produces palm oil -- a widely used vegetable oil found in everything from soap to chocolate -- which was in a dispute with locals that the two victims were advocating for, police said.

The killings were aimed at stopping the pair’s involvement, according to authorities, who added that Padmoasmolo has denied owning the firm under questioning.

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