Born in Sumatra and now in his fifties, Colonel Burhanuddin Siagian graduated from the Indonesian military academy in 1981. His career took off in 1995 as commander of a battalion in Jakarta but he made his name in Bobonaro district, East Timor, where he was posted in October 1997. Siagian was first controversially linked to militia in Bobonaro, with then UN Mission in East Timor chief executive Ian Martin calling for his removal in August 1999, because 'he and his men were contributing to, rather than addressing, the impunity of the militia'. Although replaced, Siagian remained active in Bobonaro. He has been indicted on crimes against humanity before the UN's Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) in Dili, in the Cailaco and Maliana cases, archived by the East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Programme. The Cailaco indictment included 'multiple counts of murder, torture, persecution, imprisonment or deprivation of liberty, forced relocation and destruction of property'. The Maliana charges comprised much of the same, along with an attack on the UN compound and involvement in two massacres in September 1999. Siagian was one of the 392 accused by the SCU. But Indonesia's refusal to co-operate has meant that like more than 70 per cent of those accused, he has never faced trial. But his past has not hampered his career. He was appointed military chief of staff of Denpasar district, Bali, and in 2000 was promoted to colonel and took up a post in Jakarta.