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LtCol (Pol) Adios Salova

District police chief Liquica (Kapolres Liquica)

Salova was appointed district police chief in Liquica on 27 June 1998 and was replaced a year later in early July 1999, largely due to Unamet pressure over his failure to prevent a militia attack on a humanitarian convoy on 4 July 1999.[1] He was replaced by Maj (Pol) Joko Irianto, a Brimob officer. On 22 November 2001 Salova was indicted before the Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court for crimes against humanity over the Liquica church massacre of 6 April 1999. On 31 May 2002 he was similarly indicted before the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court in Indonesia.[2]

When Besi Merah Putih militias began their reign of terror in Liquica in early 1999, he did nothing to satisfy the pleas of the legal political party CNRT for protection.[3] Indeed he issued specific orders to the police not to investigate or prosecute perpetrators of crimes if they were militia, according to the Dili indictment (Dili indictment clause 59). Militia terror soon caused up to 20,000 refugees to flee their homes into what one observer described as 'concentration camps', but again Adios Salova did nothing and told foreign journalists: 'They can go back to their homes if they want.'[4]

Police officers under his command took part in the massacre of unarmed refugees in the Catholic church in Liquica on 6 April 1999. He reported to his superiors in Dili that only five people had died in the attack (Dili indictment clause 122). When the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission came to investigate a few days later he gave the commission no explanation. All the blood and bullet marks at the church had been systematically removed.[5]

A police officer under his command mentioned in Appendix 5 of the KPP HAM report as among the perpetrators of the Liquica massacre is:

  • 1st Lt (Pol) Johanis  Rea

Rea went in and out of the church compound before the massacre to demand the surrender of two pro-independence persons, Jacinto da Costa Pereira and Gregorio dos Santos.

In December 2000 he refused to meet UN investigators who wished to interview him along with four other military and police officers for masterminding the wave of terror in 1999.[6] This indicates he will choose not to cooperate with the Dili court.

A panel of judges at the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court in Indonesia on 29 November 2002 acquitted him of crimes against humanity over the Liquica massacre. Independent human rights observer Sidney Jones said the acquittal was ‘shocking’ but ‘not surprising’.[7]   

After East Timor, he was transferred to Aceh, where he remained Lieutenant Colonel (now called Superintendent). He appeared in public as public relations officer for the highly unpopular combined police-military operations there (Kasub Sektor ORS III - Operasi Rencong Sadar III, Kasubsektor OCM - Operasi Cinta Meunasah).[8]

Extra Information

Implicated in Events:
Liquica - 6/04/1999 - Liquica church massacre

Current Status:
T - Committed for trial in East Timor, some already sentenced.

A - (Indonesian) Attorney General's Department. Announced as suspects at various times (September 2000 - April 2001), some later dropped, some already sentenced.

See map of location

This individual is also mentioned in these profiles:
LtCol Asep Kuswani
Leonito Martins
Col (Pol) Timbul Silaen

[1] 'Kapolres di Timtim diganti', Kompas, 29 June 1998; 'Diputuskan pekan depan: Pengiriman pasukan PBB ke Timtim', Kompas, 6 July 1999.

[2] The Dili indictment is Case 21/ 2001, available on the JSMP website at ttp:// The Indonesian court documents available on the JSMP website  at

[3] 'CNRT minta polisi kendalikan situasi', Kompas, 19 February 1999.

[4] Keith B. Richburg, 'A campaign of terror: Army-backed militias use violence to sway vote on E. Timor independence', Washington Post, 9 May 1999.

[5] 'Komnas HAM usut kasus Liquica: Tim PBB tiba di Dili', Kompas, 23 April 1999.

[6] 'International tribunal likely as TNI refuses UN quiz', Indonesian Observer, 13 December 2000.

[7] Jane Perlez, ‘Indonesian human rights court acquits 4 in East Timor killings’, The New York Times, 1 December 2002.

[8] 'Aparat bantah pungli awak truk', Serambi, 5 August 2000; 'Kolonel Syarifuddin Tippe: Hilangkan prasangka buruk', Serambi, 10 May 2000.


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