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Indonesian police open to exhuming body in alleged affair case

JAKARTA - Indonesian police are open to exhuming the remains of a bodyguard who was allegedly murdered for having an affair with the wife of a police general, if the deceased's family requests a second autopsy.

Police would first present the result of the first autopsy, as per normal procedure, and if the family is not satisfied, a second autopsy involving an independent third party could be carried out, national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told reporters on Tuesday night.

"As ordered by the police chief, we would do the investigation as transparently as possible and it will be based on science," Mr Dedi said, stressing that all autopsies will be audited and will be based on international standards.

Indonesian police have been in the media spotlight in the past days - with their credibility on the line - after a police statement on the July 8 death of Mr Nopryansyah Yosua Hutabarat, a bodyguard of Inspector-General Ferdy Sambo's family, was found to be plagued with irregularities.

Police claimed Mr Nopryansyah, 27, was killed during a one-on-one gunfight with another bodyguard known only as E.

Mr Nopryansyah's family lawyer Kamarudin Simanjuntak, however, said the police's chronology of events was incoherent, questioning why E had sustained no injury in a close-range gunfight where Mr Nopryansyah, a police sniper, had fired first.

He pointed out that Mr Nopryansyah fired seven shots and none of them hit E. The latter fired five shots, four of which hit Mr Nopryansyah and there were seven bullet wounds on him.

Mr Kamarudin also questioned why the police only acknowledged the bullet wounds on Mr Nopryansyah, while photos of his body also showed bruises and cuts, indicating that he was violently attacked by more than two people.

His right shoulders and jaw were dislocated and teeth were messed up, Mr Kamarudin told reporters on Tuesday after filing a police report .

The family is demanding a second autopsy.

The fact that the police disclosed the incident only three days later was also deemed irregular by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, as police commonly announce significant incidents within a day. He also questioned why the police had not allowed the family to see the body earlier.

Police had said that on July 8, Mr Nopryansyah drove the 49-year-old two-star police general, who was head of the national police internal affairs division, and his wife Putri Candrawathi from Magelang in Central Java province to the general's official residence in Jakarta.

Mr Nopryansyah walked into a bedroom on the first floor of the residencelater in the afternoon where Ms Putri, who is in her 40s, was resting and sexually harassed her. Mr Sambo was not in the house at that point.

Ms Putri is alleged to have shouted and E. rushed downstairs where a close-range gunfight ensued, with Mr Nopryansyah firing the first shot.

Mr Sambo was suspended on Monday (July 18), amid mounting public pressure that he be removed from his post.

Mr Nopryansyah's daily task was to be the chauffeur for the general's wife, whom local media said no longer lived with her husband.

Kompas daily, citing neighbour Jata Pardede, reported on Sunday that in the past year, Mr Sambo has mostly lived in a privately-owned house about 500m away from his official residence.

When asked about the alleged affair last Friday, police said there was no evidence pointing to that claim, adding, however, that the matter was a "bit sensitive" and details could not be disclosed because of ongoing investigation.

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