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The family of David Hartanto Widjaja, an Indonesian student who died at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on March 2, and a local verification team doubt the Singaporean court process of his death.
The coroner court under the subordinate court in Singapore has been processing the case to decide whether David’s death was a suicide. If it not, then the case will be forwarded to the criminal court.
However, it appeared the court process was intentionally directed to a conclusion of suicide despite evidence showing a strong possibility of murder, according to David’s family and the verification team.
“We have strong evidence that he was murdered but that fact was not brought up in the court,” David’s father, Hartono Wijaya, told a press conference Tuesday at the National Commission on Human Rights.
“Testimonies from witnesses presented by the NTU were fictitious and none of our witnesses was brought to the court.”
Djaja Surya Atmadja, a forensic expert from the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Indonesia, said any forensic doctor could see from the forensic report that David’s body had defense wounds, and that there were no wounds of suicide.
Djaya and another forensic doctor, Evi Untoro, analyzed the case based on the forensic report. Using a mannequin, they visually demonstrated the locations and forms of wounds that David had.
Hartono also showed pictures of David’s corpse. A deep cut at the neck, splintered legs and defense wounds all over his arms and hands all showed that he did not commit suicide. All these facts were never mentioned in the Singaporean court.
Iwan Piliang, a blogger who formed and led the public verification team with other bloggers, said the court process was like a play, where everything had to go according to a script.
“It is about nationalism. A citizen died in another country, with strong evidence it was murder, and then he was condemned to be a suicide.”
He added there was a suspicion David’s death was related to his research: “Multiview Acquisition from Multi-camera Configuration for Person Adaptive 3D Display”.
“His friends said his three-dimensional study could be used for various purposes, either for entertainment or even for military needs.”
“And we must not forget that after David’s death, there were two unusual deaths at NTU – his professor’s assistant *committed suicide’ four days later and another researcher was hit by a car 25 days later.”
Nurkholis, member of the National Commission of Human Rights, said that the commission would keep monitoring the next court process between June 17 and 25.
“We will also approach international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch.”