Name: Sintong Hamonanang Panjaitan sintong panjaitan

Date and place of birth: 4 September 1940, North Sumatra

Education: Military Academy, 1963


  • 1964-1965: officer in the RPKAD (now Kopassus)
  • G30S – 1965: leader of Peloton 1; active in the struggle around the radio station RRI, in the fight over airport Halim Perdanakusumah, and the old well Lubang Buaya, where the bodies of the murdered officers were found.
  • He was then tasked with restoring order in Central Java: Semarang, Demak, Blora, Kudus, Cepu, Salatiga, Boyolali, Yogyakarta up to the eastern slopes of the mount Merapi.
  • 1969 – active for ABRI in West Papua, to convince local leaders to vote for association of (then) Irian with Indonesia in the so-called Act of Free Choice.
  • 1981 – leader of Grup 1 of the anti-terror Para Commando, in the attack of the hijacked aeroplane Woyla.
  • 1985-1987: Commander of Special Troops Kopassandha (now Kopassus).
  • 1987-1991: Commander of Komando Daerah Militer IX/Udayana which included East Timor; held responsible for the Santa Cruz Massacre, 11 November 1991 and dismissed.
  • 1994-1999: Special military advisor to the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi, BPPT), and secretary of development operation (Sesdalopbang) led by then Minister for Technology, Vice-President and later President Habibie.

Allegedly involved in human rights violations:·         

  • 1991 Santa Cruz, Dili, East Timor Massacre·         
  • 1999 Referendum Timor Leste 


Sintong Panjaitan was dismissed after the Santa Cruz massacre in Dili, Timor Leste 1991. There is no information about this dismissal.

(Source: Masters of Terror, 2006:) One report alleges that Sintong Panjaitan was involved directly, by presence in 1999 in Dili, in cooperation with the Zacky Makarim – Glenny Kairupan team there on preparations for the evacuation of East Timor in the event of the vote going against Indonesia. The group allegedly had a budget of Rp 28 billion (approx.. US$ 2.8 million) allocated to it by General Wiranto, with the objective of the forced evacuation of a large proportion of the East Timorese population.

National procedures:

  • 1991: Dismissed from active duty by then Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Feisal Tanjung. No information available.

International procedures:

  • In 1994, in a U.S. civil procedure, based on the Alien Tort Claims Act, a U.S. court handed down a US$ 14 million judgment against Maj. Gen. Sintong Panjaitan to be made available to the mother of  victim of the Santa Cruz 1991 massacre (Kamal Bamadhaj) in which an estimated 200 civilians were killed in Dili, East Timor. However, this judgment can only be enforced if he enters an area under US jurisdiction.


After his dismissal as Regional Commander of the Udayana Military Region, because of his responsibility for the East Timor massacre of Santa Cruz, Sintong Panjaitan became a valuable advisor to President B.J. Habibie, precisely about the questions around the East Timor referendum in 1999 (Source: Masters of Terror, 2006).