Police attempt to disperse protesters outside the Elections Supervisory Agency building in Central Jakarta on May 21. (Photo by Konradus Epa/ucanews.com)
One of the masterminds behind an alleged plot in Indonesia to assassinate four top security officials was a former two-star general and close ally of defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, police said.
Adjunct Chief Police Commissioner Ade Ary Syam Indradi, deputy head Jakarta police’s General Crimes Investigation Directorate, told reporters on June 11 that former general Kivlan Zen ordered two individuals to find hitmen and to procure firearms for the job.
Zen, who used to head the Army Strategic Reserve Command, has already been named a suspect in connection to the plot after being implicated by two men arrested after riots rocked the Indonesian capital May 21-22.
He was arrested on May 29 for illegal possession of weapons.
Zen denied involvement in the plot, telling local media that he knew nothing about the matter.
Indradi said a politician, identified as HM, was also allegedly involved in the procurement of firearms for the alleged hits. His supposed role was to provide the money for Zen.
Local media reports identified the politician as Habil Marati, a member of the Islamist United Development Party.
"Based on facts, the testimony of witnesses and evidence, they conspired to direct the premeditated murder of four national figures and the executive director of a survey institute," Indradi said.
The four figures were Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, the State Intelligence Agency chief Budi Gunawan, and Gregorius Mere, the former head of the anti-terrorist squad Densus 88.
At least eight individuals, including Zen, were named suspects in connection with the assassination plot, which was exposed following the riots that broke out after the election commission official announced President Joko Widodo had won a second term following presidential elections in April.
At least eight people were killed and more than 700 injured during the unrest.
National Police spokesman Brigadier General Muhammad Iqbal said police were still investigating whether more individuals were involved in the plot.