Truth Remains Elusive for Brother of Slain Nasrudin

The Jakarta Globe

Andi Syamsudin thought he knew who killed his brother.

But now Andi, the younger brother of slain businessman Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, doesn’t know what to believe.

In an interview with the Jakarta Globe on Thursday, Andi said he doubted that Antasari Azhar, the former antigraft czar convicted of murdering Nasrudin, actually committed the crime, which prosecutors said was motivated by a love triangle involving golf caddy Rani Juliani, who was Nasrudin’s third wife, Nasrudin himself and Antasari.

“I tried to see and understand the relations between my brother, Antasari and the motive of the murder. I found it odd that Antasari, as the chairman of the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission), would do such a thing just because of a woman,” he said. “It made no sense to me.”

Andi, who once denounced the court for giving Antasari a “lenient sentence,” said he had tried everything he could to reveal the truth.

“I visited Antasari in Tangerang Prison for an explanation of why he would kill my brother. He provided me an explanation. He even told me about his friendship with my brother,” he said.

“But later when I wanted an explanation from Rani, I had no access to her because she was under the police protection and I would need a special permit from the police chief to meet her.

“It makes me wonder who Rani really is. Why is she so special? What happened exactly? If it was about security or safety reasons, why couldn’t the police set up a meeting themselves?”

Andi said it would be naive to link the murder to a love triangle involving a woman whose marital status with Nasrudin was unclear.

“Other than that, when I asked doctors to take action to save my brother, they told me they could not do anything without the family’s permission. But once I was in Jakarta, my brother had his hair shaved,” Andi said, recalling moments after the murder in March 2009.

“All that has made me wonder, what happened exactly?”

Andi says he now thinks the murder was engineered by people who disliked Antasari’s cracking down on major graft cases while leading the KPK.

“I believe some people wanted to get rid of Antasari because he prosecuted many big corruption cases, such as the information technology equipment procurement at KPU [General Elections Commission],” he said.

One question, however, remains unanswered.

“Why my brother? If Nasrudin has no relation with Antasari, would he be murdered? If Antasari wasn’t the KPK chairman, would this have happened?”

Andi said he was upset at the lack of support in helping him find the real perpetrators.

“It seems nobody wants to stand with us to find the true actor. I wonder if it is also part of the plan in which the real actor tried to keep everybody from supporting us so the truth would never be uncovered,” he said.

For Andi, unless the Indonesian justice system is totally reformed and a new government comes into power, reaching the truth seems unlikely.

“We have seen that even the Judicial Commission’s recommendation has been dismissed by the Supreme Court. Should we expect something more from them? I doubt it,” he said.

The Judicial Commission had asked the top court to suspend three district court judges who took part in Antasari’s trial over suspicions of unprofessional conduct in the case, but instead of granting the request, the Supreme Court promoted the trio.

“If you asked me whether I am afraid to investigate this case or not, I would say yes,” Andi said. “But I threw my fear away because I want to know the truth. If it was not me as Nasrudin’s brother, who else will do it?”

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