Denpasar. Bali Police are investigating a group of 13 inmates at the notorious Kerobokan Penitentiary over the brutal murder of another inmate there.
Adj. Sr. Comr. Benny Arjanto, the Badung district police chief, said on Tuesday that the 13 men were believed to have assaulted the victim, Edi Suwito, 28, over a 12-hour period on Jan. 11-12.
“The victim was sadistically tortured during this period, in which the perpetrators stubbed out lit cigarettes on his genitals among other things,” Benny said, adding that the perpetrators and the victims all shared the same cramped cell at Kerobokan.
He said Edi had only been at the prison for a day. He had been transferred there from the at-capacity Kuta Police jail. He had been arrested for alleged cellphone theft.
He was placed in the cell at 3 p.m. on Jan. 11 and immediately assaulted by the others, Benny said. Edi was found dead at 4 a.m. the next day.
“Among the items that we’ve seized as evidence include a bamboo pole, a cane, four lighters and a plank of wood,” Benny said.
He said the motive for the vicious attack appeared to be a long-running grudge between the victim and Ahmad Yusuf, one of the 13 other inmates.
“It appears the victim once conned the suspect’s family out of a sum of money, and the suspect had been holding a grudge since then,” he said.
“We didn’t buy that, especially because the autopsy showed all kinds of wounds that could not have been self-inflicted,” he said.
Police are also looking into why the assault was allowed to take place over a 12-hour period without prison officials noticing anything.
“We want to know where the prison guards were that whole time,” Benny said.
Bowo Nariwono, the Kerobokan warden, said his officers had not heard any noises coming from the cell that indicated someone inside was being kil led.
“Maybe it was raining at the time so the guards didn’t hear any screams,” he said.
“Besides, that cell was in a block that was far away.”
He did not elaborate what it was far from or why no guards had patrolled the area.