Jakarta. A high-ranking police officer has been suspended from his post as the head of the Internal Profession and Security Division after two low-ranking policemen assigned as his personal guards involved in a fatal shootout that killed one of them.
Inconsistent police statements about what really happened have triggered speculations on social media and the family of the decease hired a team of lawyers who alleged a murder case.
"We decided to suspend Inspector General Ferdy Sambo," National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo told a news conference on Monday.
The July 8 incident killed Brigadier Nopryansyah Yosua Hutabarat who works as both a chauffeur and a personal assistant for Ferdy.
He was allegedly involved in a shootout with another policeman identified by his initial Second Patrolman E who worked as Ferdy’s assistant and guard.
The National Police said the incident occurred at Ferdy’s official residence in South Jakarta. Yosua is alleged to have harassed Ferdy’s wife and opened fire at E who caught his act, according to the police version of the incident.
Both policemen exchanged fires and Yosua eventually died, police have said.
There are reports of sharp object wounds on Yosua’s body but police remain silent.
Sigit promised a transparent investigation into the case amid public confusion about the alleged shootout.
“We are gathering accounts from witnesses and collecting evidence to allow scientifically-proven investigation,” the police chief said.
The attorneys for Yosua’s family said he was possibly murdered somewhere between the Central Java town of Magelang and Jakarta.
“The crime is alleged to have occurred on July 8, 2022 at between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The crime scene is probably somewhere between Magelang and Jakarta, or a second possibility, at the official residence of [Ferdy] on Jalan Duren Tiga, South Jakarta because it’s where the body was found based on the postmortem report by the South Jakarta Police,” lawyer Kamaruddin Simanjuntak told reporters at the National Police headquarters.
At 10:00 a.m. on that day Yosua sent a WhatsApp message to his family saying he was about to accompany Ferdy from Magelang to Jakarta in an estimated seven-hour drive, the lawyer said.
“After 5:00 p.m. his family attempted to call him without success while access to his WhatsApp had been blocked,” Kamaruddin said.
The lawyer on Monday filed a murder case with the National Police.
A group of lawyers who call themselves the Advocacy Team for Law Enforcement and Justice, or Tampak, also reported a criminal case against Ferdy and E in connection to Yosua’s death.
"We filed a complaint against Insp. Gen. Ferdy Sambo because the alleged murder occurred at his official residence. We also reported Second Patrolman E [to the National Police]," Tampak coordinator Roberth Keytimu told reporters.