Jakarta. Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, the convicted killer of human rights defender Munir Said Thalib, has joined Tommy Suharto's Beringin Karya Party, better known as Berkarya.
Berkarya secretary general Badaruddin Andi Picunang said Pollycarpus, a former pilot at national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, joined the party as an ordinary member last year in Banten, where he lives.
"He registered and we accepted him because he is an Indonesian citizen and his political rights have not been revoked," Badaruddin told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday (07/03).
Pollycarpus was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the premeditated murder of Munir in 2004, while the activist was on board a Garuda flight bound for Amsterdam.
Evidence submitted during Pollycarpus's trial showed that he had spiked the fried noodles Munir ate during the flight with arsenic. He was released on parole in 2014.
Muchdi Purwoprandjono, who was a senior member of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) at the time of Munir's murder on Sept. 7, 2004, was also charged with conspiracy to murder, but a Jakarta court acquitted him in 2009.
Muchdi is one of Berkarya's founders, according to Badaruddin.
"In Berkarya, Pollycarpus and Mr. Muchdi never meet or greet each other," he explained.
Badaruddin said Tommy Suharto, the youngest son of former President Suharto, is one of 11 founders of Berkarya.
The party will compete in next year's legislative election.