The shocking story of how a French national was shot down after stabbing a police officer in Bali during a botched arrest attempt has gone international.
Though 49-year-old Amokrane Sabet stabbed North Kuta Police Brigadier Anak Agung Putu Sudiarta eight times, causing his death, there’s been a fair share of outcry from netizens at video footage showing police repeatedly shooting Sabet (15 shots heard), even as he’s already lying down on the ground.
However, regardless of what we saw in that horrifying video, findings from an autopsy conducted at Denpasar’s Sanglah Hospital are challenging the allegations that Sabet was shot dead by police. (Police have said they shot the man so many times because they were using rubber bullets, which pretty much failed to subdue Sabet, so only then were they forced to use live ammunition.)
An autopsy conducted at Denpasar’s Sanglah Hospital has concluded that the death of the Frenchman was not due to gunshot wounds, but rather due to broken windpipes, reports Tribun Bali. Blood is said to have entered Sabet’s lungs when his neck was cut by a sharp object.
Bali Police Chief Insp. Gen. Sugeng Priyanto said this must mean Sabet was injured by his own knife when struggling with Sudiarta.
“At that time, our officer who was killed was not carrying a weapon. From my analysis, during the struggle, our officer was able to defend himself and fight back. As a result, the blade of the knife that Amok was carrying himself cut his own neck,” Priyanto said on Wednesday from Bali Police headquarters, as quoted by Tribun.
In total, 36 wounds were reportedly found on Sabet’s body during the examination. These consisted of 24 rubber bullet gunshot wounds and 12 wounds from a sharp object in the neck area, according to Priyanto.
“The autopsy found no bullets. Only injury from rubber bullets. It was a puncture wound that led to Amokrane’s death. In the other organs, the brain, there were no injuries found,” the police chief added.
Head of Forensics at Sanglah, Dr. Ida Bagu Putu Alit has confirmed the lab’s findings to the press.
“The fatal wounds on the neck are what caused his death,” Alit said on Wednesday to Tribun Bali.
Meanwhile, likely anticipating allegations of “story-spinning”, police are not surprisingly conducting an investigation of the incident to determine if police in the field acted emotionally or professionally when shooting Sabet.
“Don’t get the impression that since a police officer died at the hands of the French national, the offender had to die too. Don’t jump to that conclusion. So, it must be seen whether the shooting that caused the death of the French citizen was done according to the procedure,” Kompolnas (National Police Commission) Secretary Safriyadi Cut Ali said to Metro TV yesterday.
According to Bali Police Spokesman Hery Wiyanto, police had thoroughly planned Sabet’s arrest and had even prepared for a number of different scenarios, so they were operating within bounds.
“We were nervous that there would be more victims because there were bystanders during the incident. So, the leaders on the field took action to disarm him. We actually wanted to come and go in peace, inviting him to our office. But Amokrane behaved brutally towards us,” Wiyanto explained.