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Five Aceh Rebel Negotiators to Face Charges Punishable by Death

Five former Aceh rebel negotiators who were arrested by Indonesian police last month on the eve of crucial peace talks will face charges of subversion and terrorism, which are punishable by death, police said Tuesday. Evidence files on 11 members of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), including the five negotiators, were handed over to prosecutors on Monday to process their indictments, said Aceh police spokesman Sayed Husainy. “They will all face charges of plotting to overthrow the government and of terrorism,” Husainy told AFP. The five were arrested on their way to last-ditch peace talks in Tokyo between the Indonesian government and GAM, in a move which sparked a strong US protest. They were freed the following day just as the Tokyo discussions began but were rearrested hours after the talks broke down — and just before the military launched a major assault against the guerrillas. “If they can’t negotiate any more they must be seen as violators of the law,” Banda Aceh’s deputy police chief, Major Ari Rahman, said at the time. Full Story

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