RealNews

Freeport Victim's Quest for Answers Leads to Australia

Patsy Spier wants to know if Canberra has information on her husband’s death, writes Herald Correspondent Marian Wilkinson. Despite 70 pieces of shrapnel lodged in her back, Patsy Spier is summoning the courage to campaign for answers about the military-style assault that almost took her life. But her strength fails her when she is asked about the terrible day last August, on the road to the Freeport mine near Timika in West Papua. Tears fill her eyes as she remembers gunmen firing over and over into her vehicle as she cowered inside. That 45-minute shooting spree left her wounded and bleeding on the back seat and her colleague dead on top of her. Just ahead on the road, in a separate vehicle, her husband and a fellow teacher also lay dead, both killed by a bullet to the head. Nearly six months since the Timika attacks that killed three people and injured 10, most of them Americans, neither the White House, the State Department nor the FBI have been able to give Mrs Spier or the other victims a good explanation for what happened. The first Indonesian police report written last September points to the involvement of the local Indonesian military, the TNI. Privately, State Department sources confirm this. But the TNI is still publicly denying culpability. Even intervention by the White House has not persuaded it to admit any responsibility. Full Story

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