Rear Admiral Yoost F Mengko
Intelligence Assistant to Chief of General Staff (Asintel Kasum)
This officer was one of three key assistants to Chief of General Staff Lt-Gen Sugiono involved in East Timor issues in 1999. Unamet chief Ian Martin wrote about his role in the last days before the ballot: 'Wiranto's intelligence adviser, Rear-Admiral Yoost Mengko, and [East Timor commander Col Nur] Muis had become Unamet's main TNI interlocutors in our efforts to promote TNI, Falintil and militia commitments to the laying down of arms.' On 27 August he led a TNI delegation that also included another Kasum assistant, MajGen Sjafrie Syamsuddin, on a visit to a major Falintil base in East Timor. This was the first time Mengko's role at TNI Headquarters had become public.
He thus effectively replaced MajGen Zacky Makarim as TNI's coordinator with Unamet in the last days of August. However, Zacky was never formally replaced on the liaison committee P3TT, and Mengko did not stay long in Dili as Zacky had done.
An East Timorese source tells us Mengko did attend a meeting with militia leaders at the East Timor military headquarters on 31 August, the day after the ballot. The pro-autonomy leaders were instructed to go to Jakarta to complain about the ballot conduct, which they did. Other senior officers present at this meeting, according to the same source, included armed forces spokesman BrigGen Sudrajat, as well as the well-known MajGen Adam Damiri, Col Tono Suratman, MajGen Zacky Anwar Makarim, BrigGen Glenny Kairupan and Col (Pol) Andreas Sugianto.
With Chief of Territorial Affairs LtGen Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, Mengko went to the UN in New York early in September 1999 to negotiate the terms of engagement for the peacekeeping mission in East Timor and coordinate the arrival of Interfet troops in East Timor.
After the Indonesian withdrawal from East Timor Mengko was appointed to head up an internal TNI team to give 'correct' information to the Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations in East Timor (KPP HAM). Just before the commission brought down its findings, which were to prove damaging, Mengko announced that the military were about to prosecute 'four former army district chiefs' (presumably dandim) for abuses committed in East Timor. At the same time he warned KPP HAM not to be 'emotional' in its report. Nothing further was heard of the promised prosecutions.
A little while later again, human rights lawyers said Mengko was at the heart of TNI pressure to compromise the neutrality of an inquiry into a 1984 incident at Tanjung Priok in Jakarta that also involved military abuse.
This naval officer was defence attache at the Indonesian embassy in Canberra, Australia, in 1992. By mid-1997 he had become chief of the naval maritime development service (Kepala Dinas Pembinaan Potensi Maritim TNI-AL), and subsequently appeared in public speaking about marine issues. After being appointed Assistant for Intelligence to the Chief of Staff for General Affairs in January 1999, East Timor became one of his top priorities. His predecessor in this position, Yuswaji, was also a naval officer.
Priority 2 for further investigation. Not included in any other formal list, but mentioned in other independent reports, bearing structural responsibility, but with minimal data so far for involvement in ET violence.
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This individual is also mentioned in these profiles:
MajGen Sjafrie Syamsuddin