18 Aug 2008

New evidence links Indonesian military to deadly 2002 attack on US teachers in Papua

1:02 pm on 18 August 2008

Fresh evidence has linked Indonesia's military to the 2002 murder of two American school teachers in Papua province.

Teachers Ricky Spier and Ted Burgon and an Indonesian, Bambang Riwanto, were shot dead and five others wounded in an ambush near the giant Freeport gold and copper mine in August 2002.

A newly published article by South East Asia Research cites sources pointing towards involvement of Indonesian intelligence agents in the planning of the attack which is still the subject of an FBI investigation.

Pro-independence rebels were blamed for the shootings, with one Papuan man, Antonius Wamang, convicted as the ringleader and sentenced to life in prison for the murders in 2006.

The new allegations draw on over 2,000 pages of Indonesian court documents, recently declassified US State Department cables, and more than 50 interviews.

The research was conducted by a US academic and an Indonesian journalist.

They interviewed a 27-year old member of the regional parliament, Agus Anggaibak, who reportedly helped plan the ambush and facilitated contacts between the shooters and military agents.