Indonesian Court Acquits Spy of Murdering Activist

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ An Indonesian court has acquitted a
former state intelligence agent of ordering the murder of a
prominent rights campaigner.

A panel of judges on Wednesday cleared retired Maj. Gen. Muchdi
Purwoprandjono of all charges.

Munir Thalib died of arsenic poisoning on a flight with national
carrier Garuda in 2004. He led a campaign that exposed rights
abuses by the military under late dictator Suharto.

Earlier this month, prosecutors demanded a 15-year sentence for
Purwoprandjono, saying he had ``planned and ordered'' Thalib's

The Supreme Court sentenced a former pilot in January to 20
years in prison for carrying out the murder.

Human rights groups are watching the outcome to gauge judicial
reform in the transitional democracy.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)