Jakarta. Convicted murderer John Refra Kei, who once appeared on a government video to talk about a maximum-security prison in Central Java, was arrested for allegedly ordering gang-style attacks that left at least one person dead on Sunday.
The arrest came only six months after he was released on parole from the Nusakambangan prison island, Central Java, for good behavior.
Police said they would pursue a premeditated murder charge carrying death sentence against him.
"John Kei was granted parole on Dec. 26, 2019. He was eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of his prison term and showing good behavior," Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Nana Sudjana said in a press conference at his office.
John, 50, has received many sentence cuts accumulating to around three years for good conduct in prison. Without parole, he would have to serve his term until March 2025.
Nana said John ordered the Sunday’s attacks at Green Lake City upscale housing complex in Cipondoh, Tangerang and on Jalan Kresek Raya, Cengkareng, West Jakarta, where a man identified as Yustus Corwing Rahakbau was killed and another person identified only as Erwin was severely injured.
The attack at the housing complex targeted John Kei’s own relative Agrapinus Rumatora aka Nus Kei, allegedly triggered by land dispute.
Nus Kei, who only suffered property damages from the attack, lodged a complaint to the police.
"We also retrieved information from the suspect’s cell phone indicating that John Kei ordered and plotted the killing of Nus Kei, E.R. or Y.C.R., so it constitutes premeditated murder,” the officer said.
John is also charged with violent attack, vandalism and illegal possession of arms, Nana added.
He was arrested at his residence in Medan Satria, Bekasi, West Java, along with 29 gang members in a joint operation involving personnel from Tangerang, Jakarta and Bekasi on Sunday evening.
The Tytyan Indah housing complex, where John resides, was surrounded by armed policemen as residents were ordered to stay at home and turn off lights before the massive arrests were made, a Beritasatu reporter said from the scene.
John and his men reportedly surrendered without resistance.
John was sentenced to 16 years in jail for the January 2012 murder of businessman Tan Harry Tantono. The director of Sanex Steel Indonesia was invited to a room at Swiss-Bellhotel in Central Jakarta, where John and dozens of his men were waiting for him.
Tan was later found dead with 32 stab wounds inside the hotel room. Police could easily identify the suspects after reviewing footages from the hotel’s security cameras.
When serving his jail term on Nusakambangan Island, John appeared several times on video interviews, including the one organized by the Presidential Staff Office, or KSP.
In that particular video published on YouTube on Nov. 19, 2018, John talked about how the maximum security prison separated from other cells on the island has turned him into a better man.
Laughing and smiling, John told KSP’s legal expert Ratna Dasahasta that he was the first person to occupy the newly-built special facility for about three months before it was officially launched.
“It was not just one cell for one man, but one prison for one man, because no other inmates were put inside the facility prior to its formal operation,” John said in the video.
“No matter how strong a person is, he will be powerless in a situation where he was the only living person in there.”
A written statement accompanying the video reads that the special facility in Nusakambangan is one of five maximum security prisons across the country, built to “motivate inmates to become better persons” and to prevent abuse of power by prison guards.
John also appeared on several other interviews with news broadcasters in which he said the prison has led him to God’s path and that he will spend the rest of his life serving God once he stepped out of jail.
A video footage depicted him delivering a sermon during a Christian service inside the prison.