Singapore allowed to quiz JI suspect

  • AseanPlus News
  • Wednesday, 05 Feb 2003

JAKARTA: Indonesian police said yesterday Singapore investigators could interrogate the alleged head of the Singapore branch of Jemaah Islamiah, a militant Muslim network accused of planning and carrying out attacks in Southeast Asia. 

However, Erwin Mapasseng, head of the Indonesian police's criminal investigation bureau, held out less hope that Mas Selamat Kastari, arrested by Indonesian police on Sunday, might ultimately be extradited to Singapore. 

“We have no extradition treaty with Singapore, but if (the Singaporean authorities) come to see him because he is their fugitive, we will help them,” Mapasseng told reporters. 

Indonesia is holding Mas Selamat on Bintan island. Police say he had been on the run for a year. 

ARRESTED: Indonesian police escorting Mas Selamat, suspected of being head of Singapore's JL, in Bintan Tuesday. -- Reuterspic

Mas Selamat is wanted by Singapore for an alleged plot to attack the city state's main international airport and ambush US military personnel stationed in the island republic. Neither attack occurred. 

Indonesia police have said Jemaah Islamiah members were responsible for the blasts that killed almost 200 people, mostly foreign tourists, in the famed Bali nightclub area of Kuta. The group has also been linked to al-Qaeda. 

Mas Selamat could face immigration charges in Indonesia, because he was arrested carrying fake travel documents. 

Police in Bintan showed Mas Selamat to the media yesterday and said they had begun questioning him, but gave no details. Mapasseng expected him to be eventually brought here.  

A Singapore government spokeswoman said on Monday it was investigating whether the man arrested in Bintan was indeed Kastari. – Reuters  

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