Antasari’s Murder Trial Set To Begin

Suspended Corruption Eradication Commission chairman Antasari Azhar will go on trial today for allegedly ordering the Mafia-style murder of businessman Nasrudin Zulkarnaen. The murder, the alleged result of a love triangle involving one of the dead man’s wives, involves claims of abuse of power, sex, money and scandalous behavior. Antasari will be tried in the South Jakarta District Court along with three other defendants. All four are alleged to have carried out a plan to kill Nasrudin, an executive at a state-owned company who was shot in his car in Tangerang in March. The other defendants are businessman Sigid Haryo Wibisono, who allegedly provided Rp 500 million ($53,000) to finance the murder, police official Wiliardi Wizar, who police believe recruited the gunmen, and alleged middleman Jerry Hermawan Lo. A spokesperson for the court said the defendants would be tried separately. The Jakarta Police will deploy 500 officers today to provide security at the court. “The case has drawn a lot of attention, so we must ensure high security at the trial venue,” a police spokesman said on Wednesday. Antasari was arrested on May 4. It took five months for police and prosecutors to prepare charges and indictments against the four suspects. An Attorney General’s Office official said prosecutors could not immediately prepare the indictment after receiving testimony from Rani Juliani, Nasrudin’s third wife, because the police documents contained “indecent remarks.” Rani, a golf caddy, went into hiding after Antasari’s arrest, which triggered a media circus. She later told police about an intimate encounter with Antasari prior to the murder. Five other men, including the two alleged gunmen, are currently on trial for the murder in the in Tangerang District Court.

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