Indonesia silent on murdered Britons

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The Independent Online
LAST OCTOBER, Indonesia promised a full inquiry into the murder of two British journalists. Five months on, nothing has happened.

The Foreign Office minister Derek Fatchett, during a visit to Jakarta, obtained an unprecedented undertaking from President BJ Habibie, to investigate the killing of Brian Peters, 26, and Malcolm Rennie, 30. Both were killed - almost certainly by Indonesian soldiers - while covering the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975.

Last week, replying to a written question from the shadow foreign affairs minister Cheryl Gillan, Mr Fatchett said he was "still awaiting a full reply" from Indonesia. But Mr Fatchett told the Independent on Sunday that, despite a series of requests from the British ambassador in Jakarta, there had been no information at all.

"We have kept reminding the Indonesians ... but we have no evidence to say that any investigation is going on."

Mr Peters, from Bristol, and Mr Rennie, from Glasgow, were working for Australian television when they and three colleagues were shot. For years the Indonesians claimed they were killed in cross-fire, though witnesses says they were targeted by special forces who then attempted a cover-up. For more than two decades the Suharto regime refused to comment on the issue. Various Indonesian politicians have said the undertaking given to Mr Fatchett amounted to nothing. A second inquiry by the Australian authorities has also failed to satisfy campaigners.