Polish globe-trotter blunders into Indonesia-Papua conflict

September 24, 2018 - 9:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — To Indonesia's government, the 39-year-old factory worker and globe-trotting Polish traveler is a danger to the state, a man who plotted with shadowy gunmen to foment revolt in isolated jungles.

But to his supporters, Jakub Skrzypski is an idealistic tourist with no money, a man with an oddball combination of sympathies for right-wing and liberation causes. And even Indonesian police say it's unlikely Skrzypski could have arranged the arms deal they say he promised to make with rebels.

But Skrzypski, who is charged with treason, still faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

He was arrested in Wamena in Papua province in August along with four Papuans who police said had ammunition and described as linked to "armed criminal groups" — authorities' description of Papuan independence fighters.

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