An Indonesian businessman was arrested Saturday on charges that he orchestrated the killing of two journalists who were reporting on a land dispute between his palm oil company and people living in the area, according to a report.
Wibharry Padmoasmolo stood accused of paying four $3,000 to kill Maraden Sianipar and his colleague Maratua Siregar, The Guardian reported.
Police found the men’s bodies in a ditch near a palm plantation in Labuhan Batu in the North Sumatra province on Oct. 30, the Jakarta Post reported. They had been stabbed multiple times.
A palm oil plantation in Indonesia. The owner of a palm oil company was arrested in connection with two murders, police said. (yale.edu)
The killings of Sianipar and Siregar allegedly were in retaliation for their advocacy on behalf of residents in the dispute with Padmoasmolo’s palm oil company, police said.
Five people have been arrested in connection with murder.
Police said they were searching for more suspects who remained at large.
“We are looking for the three, while the five other suspects have been detained for further questioning,” North Sumatra Police Chief Agus Andrianto said.