Questions remain over Indonesian cop murder after Ferdy’s arrest

Ferdy Sambo arriving on Aug 4, 2022 at the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department in Jakarta for questioning. - Antara

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network): The National Police have finally announced that their former internal affairs chief, Insp Gen Ferdy Sambo, allegedly masterminded the murder of his aide de camp, Brig. Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat, but questions remain over his reported motive.

The police are under pressure to be fully transparent in their investigation into the case following revelations that Ferdy and other police officials tampered with evidence in their attempt to cover up Yosua’s grisly killing, reportedly at Ferdy’s behest.

While the arrests of Ferdy and his three alleged accomplices — identified as Richard Elizier, Ricky Rizal and KM — have drawn praise from civil society groups, the public remains in the dark as to what exactly drove Ferdy to kill his own bodyguard.

“When the investigation is complete, we will announce it,” police spokesman Insp. Gen. Dedy Prasetyo said as quoted by on Wednesday (Aug 10).

Speculation about the motive of Yosua’s murder mounted after Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD, who chairs the National Police Commission (Kompolnas), hinted that the motive was perhaps too “sensitive” to be disclosed to the public.

“The investigators will reveal [the motive] later because it is currently being investigated.

The motive may also be too sensitive and only suitable for adults,” he told reporters on Tuesday night.

“The important thing now is that the eggshells have been cracked, that's what we need to appreciate from the police,” he added.

The police initially claimed that Yosua was killed during a shoot-out that took place after his failed attempt to sexually assault Ferdy’s wife, Putri Candrawathi, in her bedroom. Putri reported the alleged incident to the police.

Her allegation against Yosua had fuelled speculation that the killing was a crime of passion.

However, things changed after the police charged Ferdy with premeditated murder, fuelling other wild speculation concerning his relationship with his wife.

Mahfud said that investigating Yosua’s murder case had been difficult and time consuming, since it implicated many officers within the National Police.

As of Tuesday, 31 officers from the internal affairs division (Propam), the Jakarta Police and the South Jakarta Police, including Ferdy, had been questioned about potential ethics breaches over their actions at the crime scene, including possible evidence tampering.

The police have questioned at least 47 witnesses and investigated some 56 police officers in relation to the case.

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), which is investigating the alleged cover-up by the police, said it would question Ferdy and Putri on Thursday and Friday, respectively, to clarify their allegations against Yosua.

“We will work together with the National Commission on Violence against Women [Komnas Perempuan] to determine whether a sexual assault occurred,” Komnas HAM commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara told Metro TV.

The scheduled questionings, he said, would be useful in determining the motive for the murder, including whether the alleged sexual assault attempt was a part of it.

Komnas HAM has received the results of police forensic lab analysis on a few pieces of evidence from the crime scene, including five digital video recording (DVR) clips.

“Based on the forensic lab analysis, we were briefed on the method [of how police analysed the video], and of the damaged CCTV footage, how [the suspect] actually damaged it,” another Komnas HAM commissioner Choirul Anam said.

Ferdy, 49, started his career in the National Police back in 1995, when he was stationed at the East Jakarta Police precinct. He continued to climb through the police ranks throughout the early 2000s, and was eventually appointed as head of the West Jakarta precinct criminal investigation department (Kasatreskrim).

After short stints in Central Java, Ferdy returned to Jakarta in 2015, and was appointed as general crimes director of the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) in 2019.

Under his watch, Ferdy oversaw investigations into the burning of the Attorney General’s Office in South Jakarta. A year later, Ferdy was appointed head of Propam and oversaw police investigations into the fatal shoot-out between police and six Islam Defenders Front (FPI) members on the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road.

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Indonesia , police , murder , Ferdy Sambo , Yosua , investigation


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