THE investigation into the mysterious death of Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat has taken a new course with the National Police now focusing on the alleged cover-up carried out by dozens of officers initially assigned to resolve the high-profile murder case.
Yosua, widely known as Brigadier J, was killed at the residence of the police’s then-internal affairs chief, Insp-Gen Ferdy Sambo, on July 8 in what the police initially claimed was a fatal shootout between Yosua and another police officer identified as Bharada E after an alleged attempt by the former to sexually harass Ferdy’s wife in her bedroom.
In a new twist, the National Police on Thursday charged Bharada E, his full identity revealed as Second Agent (Bharada) Richard Eliezer, with killing Yosua and on Saturday night detained Ferdy over evidence tampering allegations.
“Based on the investigation done by the special inspectorate (team), which included interviews with 10 witnesses and a few pieces of evidence, (Ferdy) is suspected of committing an (ethics) violation, as he was unprofessional in managing the crime scene,” police spokesperson Insp-Gen Dedi said.
The murder case immediately drew public suspicion after the police held a press conference to give their first official account of what happened at Ferdy’s house.
A slew of discrepancies between the account provided by Yosua’s family – who claimed he was tortured before he was killed as shown by the bruises and cuts on his body – and that the police, who initially claimed that not a single CCTV camera was working during the incident, have fuelled allegations of cover-up.
Twenty-five officers, including Ferdy and two other unidentified police generals, are currently being investigated for potential ethics breaches over their processing of the crime scene of Yosua’s murder, said National Police chief Gen Listyo Sigit Prabowo.
The officers, he added, were from the internal affairs division, the Jakarta Police and the South Jakarta Police.
The police now claim that the CCTV at Ferdy’s house was functional when the killing occurred but that the recordings have been either hidden or destroyed. — The Jakarta Post/ANN