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Acquittal in death of rights activist

December 31, 2008|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

A court in Jakarta today acquitted a former state intelligence agent, Maj. Gen. Muchdi Purwoprandjono, of ordering the killing of a prominent rights campaigner.

Several hundred activists who had gathered at the court shouted in anger.

Munir Thalib died of arsenic poisoning aboard a Garuda airline flight in 2004. He had led a campaign to expose rights abuses by the military under the late dictator Suharto.

Prosecutors had demanded a 15-year sentence, saying Purwoprandjono had "planned and ordered" Munir's murder.

The Supreme Court sentenced a former pilot in January to 20 years in prison for carrying out the killing.

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