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LtCol (Pol) Gatot Subiaktoro [Subiakto]

Police chief (Kepala Polres Covalima) in Suai

Gatot Subiaktoro was appointed police chief in Covalima (Suai), southwestern East Timor, on 27 June 1998 (then still with the rank of police major).[1] Together with the military commanders LtCol Ahmad Masagus and briefly LtCol (CZI) Lilik Kushadiyanto, he was responsible for security in Suai throughout the lead-up to the 30 August 1999 and its bloody aftermath. His deputy was Jehezkiel Berek.

One of the worst single massacres after the ballot occurred at the Suai Catholic church on 6 September 1999 commencing at 1pm. Eyewitnesses said police officers for whom he was responsible took part in the attack on unarmed refugees sheltering there that left at least 50 dead (see footnotes for Lt Sugito).

Subiaktoro was born in Blitar, East Java, on 17 October 1959.[2] Together with four other defendants (Lilik Kushadiyanto - further details are available there, Herman Sediono, Ahmad Syamsuddin, and Sugito) Subiaktoro 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. However, after a trial criticised outside Indonesia for failing to address the evidence, all were acquitted on 15 August 2002.

In coordination with district head Col Herman Sediono, Subiaktoro also implemented a police plan to evacuate the population that had been drawn up in August by Col (Pol) Timbul Silaen. Indonesian Ad Hoc Court documents for his trial quote him saying the implementation began before the ballot result was even announced. Teachers and other non-East Timorese personnel were evacuated in August, and the main phase began on 1 September 1999.

On 8 April 2003 LtCol (Pol) Gatot Subiaktoro became one of 16 Abri members indicted in absentia with crimes against humanity before the special panel in Dili over the Suai massacre. For details see Lilik Kushadiyanto. His personal role was that as a member of the district government conference (Muspida) he was regularly briefed on the activities of the Laksaur militia. The day before the massacre, he gave assurances to Father Hilario Madeira, who had gone to him to request security because militias and TNI were intimidating the refugees in the church. He failed to provide security. At the moment of the massacre, according to the Dili indictment, LtCol (Pol) Gatot Subiaktoro was present and took part in the attack.

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
Olivio Moruk
Col Herman Sediono
Col (Pol) Timbul Silaen
Lt Sugito
Capt Ahmad Syamsuddin

[1] '13 Kapolres di Timtim diganti', Kompas, 29 June 1998.

[2] Indictment availabe on Other documentation on


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