IN/IRJA: More Reports on Timika Kil

Date: Thu Apr 18 1996 - 14:25:00 EDT

Subject: IN/IRJA: More Reports on Timika Killings


/* Written 8:00 AM Apr 17, 1996 by peg:ajoconnor in igc:reg.westpapua */
/* ---------- "More OZ report on Timika killings" ---------- */
Further Oz report on Timika airport killings

Jakarta names NZ pilot killed in shooting The Australian: April
17, 1996 by Patrick Walters slightly abridged.

The Indonesian armed forces confirmed yesterday that 15 people
died and 13 others were wounded after a Kopassus lieutenant opened
fire at random at Timika airport soon after 5am Monday.

The bodies of many of the dead, including a New Zealand helicopter
pilot killed in the mass slaying, were flown out of Timika
yesterday. Most were Indonesian soldiers and included senior
Kopassus officers.

The NZ pilot was named as Michael Findlay, an employee of the
charter air services company Airfast, which services the Freeport
copper & gold mine as well as other companies operating in Irian
Jaya. Findlay was in his late 40s and married to an Australian.
They had 3 children. Sources said that his body was flown to
Brisbane late yesterday. Although he worked out of Timika, his
family were resident in Australia.

Kopassus commander, Brig-Gen Prabowo Subianto, flew back to
Jakarta yesterday accompanying the bodies of army personnel. The
elite unit celebrated its 44th birthday yesterday without the
usual ceremonial parade at its headquarters outside Jakarta.
According to armed forces headquarters in Jakarta, 10 of the 15
dead were soldiers and the other 5 civilians. Of the 13 injured,
12 were military personnel and the remaining casualty a civil
aviation worker. Three Kopassus officers were killed, including
Lt-Col Adel Gustimigo, commander of the counter- terrorist unit
Detachment 81.

Other victims included a Kopassus captain and major, together with
two civilians working at Timika airport. Sources said that the
officer who carried out the attack had been taken into military
custody. Contrary to earlier reports, informed sources said
yesterday that the lieutenant responsible for the shooting had not
argued with his superiors before opening fire. The armed forces
spokesman said on Monday that the young officer had been in a
dispute with another officer before the shooting.

'There was no provocation. There was no question of any sort of
altercation with another officer', one source said, quoting a
witness to Monday's incident. The armed forces have launched a
full investigation into the shooting.