Suspects in killing of American teachers travel to U.S.

The men accused of killing two American teachers agreed to meet FBI agents at a hotel in remote Papua province because they were told they were going to be sent to the United States for trial, one of their lawyers said Saturday. But when the suspects arrived at the Amole II Hotel in the town of Timika on Wednesday evening, the agents shoved them into a container truck and delivered them to Indonesian police, said Anum Siregar, accusing the FBI of entrapment. U.S. and Indonesian authorities denied that. The eight suspects now in police custody include Anthonius Wamang, who was indicted by a U.S. grand jury in 2004 for the murders of Rickey Lynn Spier, 44, of Littleton, Colorado, and Leon Edwin Burgon, 71, of Sunriver, Oregon. The teachers' vehicle came under fire as they returned from a picnic close to a massive mine owned by New Orleans-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Mine Inc. in a mountainous region of Papua in 2002. Suspicion that Indonesian security forces may have been involved chilled relations with Washington, which had already cut military ties with the Southeast Asian nation over human rights concerns.

The FBI, working closely with Indonesian police, however found no evidence implicating the military and in November full ties were restored, largely because Washington wanted to help the mostly Muslim nation fight terrorism.

Twelve people were detained Wednesday for their alleged role in the attack, all described as Papuan separatists, but four have since been released. The others were flown Saturday to the capital Jakarta, where they will be further questioned by police, said national police spokesman Brig. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam.

Siregar said the suspects agreed to meet U.S. agents at the hotel because they were told they would be brought to America where they could defend themselves against allegations of murder. They were eager to go, she said, and had already packed their bags and said goodbye to their families.

"They were promised that once in U.S. custody they could speak freely and that their safety would be guaranteed," Siregar said. "They were even told they would be given daily allowances while in the United States", reports the AP. N.U.

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