Yogya policeman gets 10 months for murder
, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tuesday, August 21 2001

YOGYAKARTA (JP): A Yogyakarta Military Tribunal sentenced on Monday Second Adj. Insp. Edy Wuryanto, a former police detective at Bantul regency, to 10 months in jail for concealing evidence in the murder case of reporter Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin, alias Udin, five years ago.

Presiding judge Col. Hani Sumarni said that Edy had tarnished the image of the police with the public by violating standing procedures in handling the murder case.

""In this trial, Edy confessed he had borrowed Udin's notebook from his relatives a few days after the murder took place,"" she said. ""Later the defendant demonstrated irresponsibility by claiming that he had lost the notebook.""

""His deed damaged the image of the police, especially in the eyes of Udin's relatives, who had high hopes that the police would and could resolve the case,"" she said.

According to the panel of judges, Edy had violated Article 417 of the Criminal Code, which carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

The Yogyakarta Military prosecutor had earlier demanded that the court hand down 18 months imprisonment to Edy for having committed the offense.

Monday's trial, which began at 10 a.m., was marked by a protest by Edy's supporters. Some 30 people carried banners reading Free Edy, let him be happy and Don't compare Edy with Tommy (Soeharto).

Edy's lawyer, Ramdlon Naning, told the panel of judges that he would appeal to a higher court, while military prosecutor Lt. Col. Roesdi H.K. said he had yet to take a stance toward the verdict.

The defendant has not been dismissed from the police. This means that he could return to his current post as a detective at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta.

Edy, 44, was the leader of the team of nine police officers from Bantul police station assigned to investigate Udin's murder case. He was moved to Jakarta in 1999.

Udin was a journalist for the local daily Bernas when he was beaten by unidentified assailants at his home in Bantul on Aug. 13, 1996. He died three days later at Bethesda Hospital without regaining consciousness.

Many believed that the murder related to his articles on alleged corruption at the Bantul administration.

In 1997 a man identified as Dwi Sumaji, alias Iwik, was blamed for the death of Udin. Iwik was finally exonerated of the crime. (23)