13 Sep 2006

Papuans protest against testimony from FBI

7:24 pm on 13 September 2006

Six of seven Papuan men standing trial for allegedly killing two Americans and one Indonesian in 2002 have objected to testimony by US FBI agents.

The agents, Ronald C. Eowan and Paul Ryan Mayers, helped arrest the seven suspects, including the alleged ringleader Antonius Wamang in Timika, Papua, in January.

They lured the suspects from their hiding place by promising them asylum in the US, where they would not be prosecuted.

After the Papuans came out with their bags packed, the agents turned them over to the police.

The Jakarta Post reports that Judge Andriani Nurdin has ignored the defendants' protests about the agents and allowed the agents to testify.

Infuriated by the judge's decision, the defendants stormed out of the courtroom on Tuesday.

Their lawyers from the Indonesian Legal Aid Association followed.

Defence lawyer Johnson Panjaitan has questioned the point in bringing them to testify in the trial.

All but one of the defendants have denied involvement in the deadly shooting near the site of mining giant Freeport.