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District chief of staff
District command (Kodim) 1635

Capt Ahmad Syamsuddin

Chief of staff, Covalima military district command (Kodim 1635), based in Suai

Together with four other defendants (Lilik Kushadiyanto - further details are available there, Herman Sediono - more details, Gatot Subiaktoro and Sugito) Syamsuddin was indicted for crimes against humanity before the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court in Indonesia on 20 February 2002. All were indicted for failing to prevent their subordinates from carrying out the Suai church massacre on 6 September 1999. In fact Syamsuddin took part directly in the attack, according to the Indonesian indictment. However, after a trial criticised outside Indonesia for failing to address the evidence, all were acquitted on 15 August 2002.[1]

The Covalima district command, like all district commands, retained 200 to 300 East Timorese auxiliaries known as milsas (militarisasi - formerly Hansip). Ahmad Syamsuddin was in charge of these personnel. He was also in charge of the military district armoury, and thus handed out guns to the militias. Indonesian Ad Hoc Court documents show that during the days 5-8 September 1999 he was busy implementing the military plan known as Operasi Cabut II (Operation Pull-Out, see MajGen Adam Damiri), which involved 'securing' state assets in Covalima and helping the police evacuate the population. Lt Sugito helped him secure transport for the evacuation.

On 8 April 2003 he was indicted in absentia by the Dili special panel for crimes against humanity (see LtCol Lilik Kushadiyanto). The Dili indictment confirmed that Capt Ahmad Syamsuddin participated personally in the killing within the church.

Ahmad Syamsuddin was born in Tangerang near Jakarta on 21 June 1964.

Extra Information

Implicated in Events:
Suai - 6/09/1999 - Suai 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 Lilik Kushadiyanto
LtCol Ahmad Masagus
Olivio Moruk
Col Herman Sediono
LtCol (Pol) Gatot Subiaktoro
Lt Sugito

[1] Indictment availabe on Other documentation on


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