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Murder of Indonesian police official’s bodyguard leads to death

Former national police head Ferdy Sambo, a two-star general and former head of internal affairs, is suspected in the killing of his bodyguard in July, an incident originally covered up by the police.

In addition to firing a bullet into the wounded victim, Sambo also ordered a subordinate to shoot Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat.

His arrest last August was followed by his discharge from the force in September, after months of trial that highlighted the pervasive impunity of police in Southeast Asia.

Ferdy Sambo has been found legally and convincingly guilty of premeditated murder by the court. According to Wahyu Iman Santoso, the presiding judge, the defendant had been sentenced to death.

Sambo, who attended the hearing in person, watched Hutabarat’s mother holding his picture in the Jakarta court.

Public yelps accompanied the reading of the verdict, as if they had not expected the maximum sentence. During Sambo’s eviction from court, he was mobbed by reporters.

The police initially reported Hutabarat’s death as the result of an attack on Sambo’s wife caught by a member of the security detail.

After his wife was arrested, Sambo was arrested as well. Monday will be the day she is sentenced.

In the days leading up to Hutabarat’s death, police did not reveal the killing, claiming that surveillance cameras were out of order at the time. According to the judge, a subordinate of Sambo deleted closed-circuit television footage.

According to activists, the maximum sentence was likely handed down because of Sambo’s role as a law enforcer.

Ferdy Sambo was believed to have orchestrated this murder by law enforcement, said Ardi Manto Saputra, deputy director of Imparsial.

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