A senior Indonesian general, who is the son-in-law of former President Suharto,has been dismissed amid speculation he ordered the kidnappings of political activists.
The armed forces chief, General Wiranto, says Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto may still face a court-martial.
Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto was the chief of Indonesia’s special forces, which have been implicated in the abduction and torture of Suharto’s opponents last year.
Amid the suspicion he ordered kidnappings of political activists, Prabowo has now been suspended from duty pending the investigation.
He has said he was ready to take responsibility for the kidnappings if his troops were proven to have taken part.
The head of Indonesia’s armed forces General Wiranto announced the dismissal of Prabowo.
SOUNDBITE: (Indonesian)
“As for Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto, he is summarily excused from his duties in the Indonesian army.”
SUPER CAPTION: General Wiranto, Indonesia’s Armed Forces Chief
Many thought Prabowo had guaranteed his steady promotion to the highest echelons of power when he married the daughter of former President Suharto.
But the excesses of the previous regime and subsequent upheavals that brought down Suharto in May also brought down his son-in-law.
More than two dozen political activists were allegedly kidnapped by Indonesia’s special forces and whilst being held, routinely tortured.
Those that were released said they had been specifically asked about their political ties.
At least 14 opponents are still missing and are presumed dead.
During the extended closed session inquiry on Prabowo’s fate, no word emerged from the general as to the fate of those still missing.
A further 10 officers, all of whom were part of Indonesia’s special forces, are also suspected in the case.
They are already set to appear before a military tribunal.
Although facing the disgrace of being dismissed from the army, the possibility of further charges against Prabowo and his associates has not been ruled out.
SOUNDBITE: (Indonesian)
“Of course, this does not stop the possibility of sending them to court if, during the trial of the other 10 soldiers, it can be proved that they are guilty.”
SUPER CAPTION: General Wiranto, Indonesia’s Armed Forces Chief
A separate government team investigating May’s riots is also expected to question Prabowo on allegations of military involvement in the violence, in which 12-hundred people were killed and thousands of buildings were looted, damaged or burned.

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