Prabangsa, 41, a reporter with the Indonesian-language Radar Bali daily, was reported
missing on February 12 on the provincial island of Bali.
His body was found four days later, floating in waters west of the Padangbai
harbor, news reports said. The journalist had received threatening calls and
text messages on his cell phone for two weeks before he disappeared, the
director of Radar Bali, Justin
Herman, told CPJ.
Police arrested a local politician and several accomplices in
the killing, which they said was motivated by the reporter's coverage of a local
government project, news accounts said. Police alleged that I Nyoman Susrama, a
legislative council member for the district of Bangli, a large city in
eastern Bali, and accomplices had seized Prabangsa
from his home on February 11.
Police said the assailants took Prabangsa 30 miles (50
kilometers) to the small coastal town of Padangbai and dumped him into the sea, The Jakarta Globe reported. An
autopsy report cited in news stories found saltwater in the journalist's
digestive system, indicating that he may have been alive when he entered the
water. The autopsy said he also sustained head injuries and a broken wrist
before his death.
Prabangsa's reporting had exposed possible corruption in a
local education department project under Susrama's jurisdiction, according to
the Alliance of Independent Journalists in Indonesia.
Police arrested Susrama and several others on May 24,
according to The Jakarta Globe. In February 2010, a jury found Susrama guilty of plotting the murder, news reports said. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Job: Print Reporter
Beats Covered: Corruption, Politics
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Government Officials
Taken Captive: Yes